Bob Brewin's keynote here at JavaOne is San Francisco yesterday was packed with loads of cool demos. For example, a geospatial browser based on NASA's World Wind (using the Java OpenGL API) deservedly received lots of applause. From a personal perspective though, the one that really stood out for me was IRIS, a "rich client" app that uses Java applets to browse and edit photos stored on the Flickr online photo service. There seems to be some roughness around the edges with the login process (try just browsing a user's photos if you have trouble actually logging in) and Sun's servers hosting the project got hammered by the load after the demo. However, the application is just an amazing advance over Flickr's own fairly crude tools such as Flickr Uploader. It uses Java graphics capabilities to full effect to both edit and show the photos in a Flickr album. What's more, the user doesn't have to explicitly download anything.
Congrats to Ken Russell and his co-workers for putting together this very impressive demo.