This week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we debuted our latest creation—KinectiChord: a multiuser, multisensory experience that blends physical and digital in an unexpected and delightful way. On display in the Microsoft Advertising Beach Club, this experience allows multiple users to see, hear and feel technology like never before.
We got a 3D printer (%#$@%!!!!!) and I think we can all safely say we have been…distracted lately. We’ll be posting our creations, augmentations and general mad-scientist meddlings all week long. Each print becomes more and more successful (like the top I printed above) and we are soaking up all the information we can to make each one better than the last.
Some of the team members have immediately started printing toys for their families (and themselves) while others are already figuring out how to print out the missing links to the Arduino puzzles that have kept them up at night. We all knew the impact these suckers would have on the marketplace, but i can’t impress upon you all just how much more amazing these things are when you are actually behind the dreaming something up one minute and holding it in your hands the next.
Have any requests? Have any tips? Want to come play? Tweet us at @razorfishEE – OK back to printing my Biplane chasis…
Anticipation has been building for years.
The expectation has always been that our lives will be transformed by new technologies. Everything from travel to sports and entertainment would be made new again…redefined.
And now, thanks to Delta and Madison Square Garden in partnership with Razorfish, that time has finally arrived.
Delta Air Lines’ Touch the Future of Travel and a newly refreshed yet still iconic Madison Square Garden is here.
In addition to the 11,000 square foot lounge which features select menus, multi-screen event coverage, and a clear view of professional athletes entering the arena through a glass hallway, we’ve created a unique experience for VIPs.
A personalized, curated way for travelers to discover new destinations, collecting content from around the globe and enjoying fantastic vistas that transport them into the magic of destination travel and discovery.
Delta’s Touch the Future of Travel is about unique inspiration, easier access to what you want, when you want it, and sharing travel ideas with friends…and Razorfish with Delta is making it all happen.
For the Adobe Mobile Challenge 2011 Kay Wiegand and Tobias Richter from the Berlin Razorfish office produced a Crossplatform Mobile Application with Flash Builder 4.5 for iOS, Android and BlackBerry called TOUCH N CLASH! The App was a smashing success and went on to win the highly sought-after Novelty/Innovation Prize! Read what the jury said here!
TOUCH N CLASH is powered by the Adobe RTMFP group functionality. By utilizing this technology, it was possible for us to create the necessary multiplayer communication without establishing a server/client infrastructure. On the gameplay side of things, another notable feature is the physics engine we implemented that really brings the fun of the game mechanics to life and adds a level of intensity to the overall experience. To really kick things up a notch, we tapped into the device accelerometers to control the direction of the gameballs. The unique selling point that helped us stand apart from the competition is that the game is playable with different devices together in a cross-platform experience.
The gameplay is a very simple, but VERY fun:
In the game, the colored sides of your game-field represent the other players. If a gameball appears in your game-field, you have to pass it to another player before the countdown timer runs out. To pass a gameball to another player, touch and drag it to the colored side of your game-field. To add a fun element of chaos, we added a mechanic that randomly spawns a gameball. First player to touch it gains control allowing the tide of the game to turn on a dime. You win by being the last man standing!
We’d love for you to experience this fast-paced and innovative game for yourself! Please download a copy from your appropriate marketplace below:
In mid-March, tens of thousands of music lovers, film fanatics and tech junkies descended on Austin, Texas for the annual SXSW festival. This year, we were honored by being invited to come and participate on a panel discussing technology and the future of the in-store experience (official panel info). It was an exciting opportunity that we hope to be asked to repeat in the future years of this prestigious festival.
Its been amazing to watch the festival’s success and attendance sky rocket during the last decade, and the expansion into the interactive industry has been a huge factor in that growth. To say attendance was high is almost laughable – the city was brimming with people, all ravenously seeking out and consuming inspiration for their passions in the forms of discussions, installations and shows. It was really a highlight in our history to be part of that momentum.
There were a lot of very engaging discussions – from Foursquare CEO, Dennis Crowley’s, keynote discussion on how their platform continues to evolve and stay relevant, to the “new buzz” around passive-location app rookies such as Highlight and even some really amazing (and fairly alarming) thoughts from Ray Kurzweil on the democratization of technology…and our imminent replacement by cyborgs. (YAY future!)
The speakers I had the pleasure of joining on the panel were Carrie Chitsey, Founder & CEO of 3Seventy, Tim Austin, CCO of TPN, and Chris Harrison, panel moderator and COO of DMX Inc. The panel focused primarily on the current landscape of retail – both in-store platforms and exterior experiences such as web and mobile/tablet. A lot of discussion was around the tech that is in the market today – QR, mobile, RFID, Augmented Reality, Multitouch – and what we saw on the horizon – NFC, 3D Video Projection, furthered AR and, most importantly, the convergence of these experiences into a connected, holistic platform.
We’ve seen amazing examples of Augmented Reality and Video Projection as jaw-dropping attraction mediums and fun, environmental experiences (think Nike’s Melo Event or RockStar), but how can we utilize this tech to drive purchasing decisions in-store or from a shopper’s living room. One of the larger advancements we saw at CES this year was in the Virtual Dressing room category and how augmented experiences like Body Metrics are impacting shoppers’ decisions while reducing return rates for online retailers at the same time.
However, while this solves ‘online’ shopping pain points for both retailers and consumers, it also creates potential potholes in the path to in-store traffic since the online experience is that much better. This then puts the heat back on brands (and us as marketers) to elevate the in-store component of our model to provide meaningful, inspiring experiences for shoppers so they actually visit the store in the first place. So what does this mean for the marketplace?
It means connecting with customers’ senses of individuality and personal connection with brands. It means empowering the sales staff with tools and theatrical platforms to engage in a higher level of customer service with shoppers. And most importantly, it means ensuring that these offerings weave together to form a cohesive story across all the touch points that form the overall journey from storefront to shopping cart. Our team recently developed a platform, code-named 5D, that connects shoppers with devices and one-of-a-kind experiences like never before.
Lastly, we also discussed the responsibilities we have as agencies, brand ambassadors and shepherds of our clients’ interests to make sure we are not just pushing tech for tech’s sake. There have been far too many failed retail experiences due to the fact that they were simply off-target from the business goals of the retailer, inappropriate for the store’s customer, fledgling technology that needed to be incubated a bit longer or all of the above. QR, for example, is so easy to implement, that every able marketer over-saturated their materials with a QR extension, delivering a poor user-end experience once the consumer actually went through the hoops of snapping the code. This has really eroded the effectiveness of QR as a connection medium and left a sour taste in most peoples’ mouths when they think of QR. Now, at a time when QR’s potential is really peaking through its ability to quickly connect platforms and personal devices, we are finding ourselves having to resell the tech all over again since it wasn’t used appropriately by so many marketers the first time. As an agency, we must always envision our experiences with attention to core business strategies, while at the same time designing consumer services that support the shopper. It is definitely our job to disrupt the marketplace with ideas, but ideas that are tactful and meaningful for brands and shoppers alike.
At the end of the day, or the panel rather, we all agreed that the point is this: products support the experiences we create. Therefore, these experiences should always support our consumers’ lifestyles as well as the business goals of our clients. They must be meaningful and magical to impact a cluttered landscape that’s piled high with shallow executions and disparate messages. Emerging technology is a powerful medium to break through all of this noise and tell compelling stories, but only if it adds value on both sides of the fence. The consumer story is the brand story these days – period -and personal devices + emerging technology is at the center of it all. We must strive to utilize new opportunities with new technology to educate and inspire the people that fuel this trillion dollar industry, but not squander business dollars and consumer energy in the process.
Fresh out of R&D from the Razorfish Emerging Experiences team is a product code-named “5D”. 5D started out as an idea to re-invent personal shopping. Our goal was to create a retail experience platform for both consumers and sales associates that enables multi-channel sales through immersive and connected digital devices in retail environments. And the only way to do it is to seamlessly integrate five key components – devices, content, experiences, analytics and CRM with a touch of digital magic!
The team announced 5D at the 2012 NRF Convention & Expo in New York City in partnership with NEC and Microsoft. Leveraging Windows Embedded, Microsoft Surface, MS Tag, Windows Phone and Kinect for Windows we created a prototype around a fictitious brand “Razorfashion” that demonstrates how various touch points along the customer journey can attract consumers into the store, drive product engagement and arm store associates with more contextualized digital tools.
You can read the full press release here
We recently partnered with London-based technology company, Bodymetrics, to develop a means for online shoppers to buy clothes from the comfort of their couch. Whattya mean big deal? Well, did we mention that the clothes are guaranteed to fit?
Yup, thanks to BodyMetrics’ 3D body-scanning technology, which is based off of the same PrimeSense scanners and camera tech as the Microsoft Kinect, shoppers are able to have their body dimensions scanned in and saved to an online profile. Just think of it like the transport room in Star Trek … if Scotty had a bit of an online shopping problem.
Once users have created their profile and saved their body data, they can virtually try on a wide range of clothing types such as jeans, dresses, skirts and tops from tons of partner retailers. As each piece of clothing is mapped to the on-screen avatar’s body, the user is able to see the exact fit of the item thanks to a visual overlay that depicts the tight spots of the garment. No more guessing games when you buy that pair of jeans online – you get the perfect fit, every time.
The icing on the cake – retailers get to benefit from a drastic drop in their store return rates since their customers can finally purchase with confidence. That, coupled with the exponential momentum and increased basket-size of eCommerce purchases means great things for apparel companies. Plus, you don’t have to listen to some phony sales associate squawking about how fabulous you look in those jeans – just take a look for yourself!
AT&T’s Small Business division asked the Emerging Experiences Group within Razorfish to create an in-store experience as part of a 30 store pilot program to create better awareness and engagement with customers as well as provide associates more powerful sales tools. The project has been a big success and you should be able to take a spin in a store near you soon.
The arrival of NFC technology promises to usher in a variety of new types of multi-channel customer experiences. While NFC technology is still in its infancy, our team has focused our efforts on research & development around experiences that can be enabled by this emerging platform. One of the many uses of NFC is activating mobile payment.
The Razorfish Digital Wallet is a mobile application we developed to demonstrate how customers can send and receive mobile payments over NFC. In the future, this type of consumer-to-consumer payment will become commonplace. For instance, you’ll pay your babysitter or settle a bet with a friend by simply tapping your mobile devices.
In the above video, we’ll showcase the consumer-to-consumer payment scenario along with a variety of other scenarios. NFC has arrived and we’re excited to integrate this technology in our experiences.
Check back soon as we will be posting a behind-the-scenes walkthru of the application.
Last month, WIRED magazine published an article entitled “A Thousand Points of Infrared Light” which highlights the effect that Kinect has had in transforming the way that we interact with digital experiences. Timed around the announcement of the official Kinect SDK, the article focuses initially on how this revolutionary device allowed researchers in robotics to take their experiences out of the lab with little cost (the Microsoft Kinect is an add on peripheral that costs $150).
It’s a great read on the subject on how a company can embrace the “hacker” community, thereby supporting innovation well beyond a products’ intended use. The first couple of weeks of Microsoft’s stance on Kinect hacks was uncertain, however Microsoft soon embraced the community.
WIRED researched the thousands of Kinect hacks in the wild and invited a handful of researchers, visual artists and technicians to be included in the magazine. We were excited to be included. Check out the iPad version of the magazine to see video of our DaVinci Kinect experience.
Thanks again to WIRED for the props and we look forward to sharing more experiences with everyone in the near future.