When RIM first announced that they had acquired The Astonishing Tribe TAT) and their expert UI design team most of us had never heard of them. Now that their website (www.tat.se) is no longer hammered with new visitors I decided to do some digging around and found some interesting details and learned a little more about TAT which is headquartered in Malmoe, Sweden with offices in the US and Korea.
Their main product seems to be TAT Cascades but they also have a product called TAT Motion Lab which is built in their TAT Kastor Platform. TAT Cascades is a XML based user interface framework for creating engaging design driven user interfaces. My guess is that the TAT Cascades framework is why RIM purchased TAT. According to the Intro video on their Videos page their technology is powering 470+ million devices and more than 15% of all new phones in 2010 and 20% of touch phones. Pretty impressive stats!
According to their site the Cascades framework was created for constrained environments to bring an awesome UI to mid level hardware but now also lets you create amazing UIs on advanced platforms with graphics chips built in. The idea with Cascades is that you can get a slick UI up and running quickly and it scales due to its underlying XML nature.
In simple English TAT makes it easy for companies to create awesome user interfaces with a minimal amount of effort while allowing for easy changes and scaling between devices like a phone and a tablet.
Sounds like RIM made a great purchase… Here is to hoping we get blown away with the upcoming UI upgrades. What I want is something as thought out as the BlackBerry email client with easier shortcuts. Personally I think radial menus are the way to go.