Take a look behind the scenes of the Lab at the ARIA in Las Vegas. A true manifestation of what we do in the Emerging Experiences group, the Lab set-up brings to life the ideas behind this year’s Client Summit theme, Convergence. To learn more about the ideas that drive our passions, read more about what Razorfish’s Global CEO, Bob Lord and Global CTO, Ray Velez have to say in their new book.
During a two day prototyping session at Razorfish’s Frankfurt office last summer, our team built an NFC-enabled gumball machine that was filled with apps, music, games and other fun content. And to help celebrate the new Galaxy SIII Mini, it was recently showcased at Samsung’s Flagship Store here in Frankfurt. Now, after a short pit stop to make a few tweaks and improvements, we’re taking it to Mobile World Congress next week. If you happen to be in Barcelona, be sure to stop by the NFC & Mobile Money Pavilion (Hall 7) to check it out.
Our lab is buzzing with activity as the team prepares for the National Retail Federation’s 102nd Annual Convention & EXPO in New York. On display will be the latest iteration of Razorfish 5D— the world’s first cross-device, cross-OS, connected retail platform. Launched at last year’s NRF convention, 5D has already been launched in several markets and was used to create Audi City London, a one-of-a-kind immersive virtual showroom. This year we’re showing how our platform can power customized, personalized and seamlessly synchronized shopping experiences. We threw in some augmented reality and a bunch of transparent displays as well.
Our team will be demonstrating the 5D experience in booth #1005 on Level 3 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. If you can’t make the show, be sure to follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates.
When we’re playing in our Lab, we’re always looking for creative ways to push the limits of technology. Some of our projects are just for fun, and others, like London’s Audi City, completely reinvent the way people shop. We were even thinking about digital wallets before they were cool. So when we set out to create the Razorfish 5D platform, our goal was to design a powerful and highly immersive way for brands to connect with consumers—before, during and after the shopping experience. In our latest video, we show how our 5D platform seamlessly connects a variety of digital devices to better attract consumers into the store, drive product engagement and arm store associates with more contextualized digital tools. The end result is a fun and personal experience, the way shopping should be.
Bottom line, retailers need to do more than simply slap digital elements into their locations… they need to create seriously-planned interactive customer experiences.
Razorfish’s Emerging Experiences lab is a mind-blowing candy store stocked with seamlessly connected technologies that facilitate the creation of magic moments for guests. It provides an immersive physical space that clients can leverage to strategize, implement, prototype, and employ these interactive experiences for their customers.
From concept to completion, the Emerging Experience Practice is a one-stop shop for clients looking to collaborate with a team of committed, enthusiastic specialists to ultimately create custom solutions that are grounded in the reality of business. The Lab is a unifying space not only for emerging technologies, but also for designers, developers, strategists, and stakeholders too.
In the Lab, all of the walls come down. Traditional barriers between agency and client as well as client and customer are removed. Technology recedes in and out of view through the cycle of creation as it integrates with thoughtful experience touch points.
The results of this one-of-a-kind mix? Solutions that are sustainable and occur as a natural result of discoveries during the envisioning process.
It’s always so exciting when a client visits the Lab for the first time. By experiencing the possibilities in a physical space, the client is inspired by this type of thinking and how it relates to their business. Subconsciously, authentic consumer experiences begin to occur.
The sensory nature of the Lab helps foster the most compelling and innovative ideas possible. It is something that can not be achieved by observing a focus group or relying on evolving data.
It’s brainstorming at its finest. And prototyping at its fastest.
Clients can experience their customers’ point of view in a way that was once never possible.
Razorfish is committed. Our team members are committed. All of the chips are in and the Lab is situated as a crucial space to help our clients realize and understand the needs of today’s customers.
Near field technology has been around for a couple of years now, but will it finally have its breakthrough later this year when the new iPhone comes out? A good reason for us to take another closer look at the technology.
This is an NFC-enabled Gum Machine we have built at Razorfish that is packed with all sorts of digital goodies: Apps, movies, songs, ebooks, as well as other exclusive and location-based content that can be pushed to a phone. Simply enter a coin and turn the lever – then follow the animation and tap your smartphone next to the release chute.
The project was realized in a 2 day prototyping session at Razorfish’s Frankfurt office. In terms of hardware, we used a Samsung Galaxy Tab, an NFC shield, a simple reed switch and two Arduino microcontrollers – all nicely fitted into an original Gum Machine metal base.
This is an example of how NFC Technology can provide a missing link between the physical and the digital by bringing the best of both worlds together.
Want to keep updated? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about the blurring line between the physical and digital worlds. Be invited to join the conversation on facebook.
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.
We recently had the opportunity to debut the RockstAR experience at SXSW – check out video of the experience in action. We like to think of it as the classic photo booth taken to the next level with augmented reality, multi-touch and social integration. Let’s go behind-the-scenes and take a look at both the software and hardware that brings this experience to life.
First, let’s talk software. The application was built on the recently announced Razorfish Vision Framework. The framework provides a platform to power augmented reality, gestural and other vision-based experiences. For the RockstAR experience, we are analyzing each frame coming from an infrared camera to determine if faces are found in the crowd. Once a face is detected, it is assigned a unique ID and tracked. Once we receive a lock on the face, we can pass position and size information to the experience where we can augment animations and graphics on top of the color camera feed. This technology has a variety of uses. For instance, face tracking can be used to track impressions on static or interactive digital experiences in the retail environment. Here is a screenshot taken from the debug-mode of the experience which shows the face tracking engine at work using the infrared camera.
In addition to the vision-based technology, the experience was fully multi-touch enabled – users can gesture on a virtual joystick to swap out bands and snap pictures.
Because the classic photo booth experience is a social activity, we took it to the next level with twitter and Flickr integration. As pictures were snapped, we’d immediately make them available online. A QR code was rendered with each picture to quickly allow users to navigate to the RockstAR photo on their mobile device. Once the experience is extended to mobile, users can email the pictures to their friends, set it as wallpaper, re-tweet it to their twitter followers, etc.
Let’s move on to hardware. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase infrared AR-ready cameras at your local Walmart… at least not until Project Natal comes out later this year. Therefore, we needed to build a dual-camera system that would support the face tracking in infrared and the color video feed for display on the screen. We decided to go with 2 commercial-grade Firefly MV cameras with custom lenses.
One of the cameras we modified to see only infrared light by replacing the IR-blocking filter with a IR band-pass filter. This allows only a narrow range of infrared light to reach the camera CCD.
We also purchased and tested a variety of infrared illuminators. These are used to illuminate the environment with invisible infrared light allowing the infrared camera to accurately track faces in low-light conditions.
Sparks were flying as we fused the color and infrared cameras together — just another day at the office.
We created a portable rig for the camera and infrared illuminators. Adjustable camera mounts and industrial strength velcro provide flexibility and portability across a variety of installations.
We used a presentation remote clicker as an alternative way to drive the experience. We primarily used it as a remote camera trigger which allowed us to quickly snap pictures of unsuspecting people from a distance.
The experience was powered by a 55″ multi-touch screen and a CPU provided by DFI Technologies. We’ve been working with DFI to build PCs that will power the next-generation of interactive experiences. These PCs are small form factor and can be mounted behind the multi-touch screen.
Last but not least, we bring you the pink rug. We can’t reveal too much information about this technology… we need to keep some things secret. Just know that it is critical to the overall experience.
Below is a quick list of the conferences we’re at in March. Please let us know if you are also attending and we’ll make sure you get a chance to check out our experiences.
GDC 2010 (March 9-13, SanFran) – Lesley just returned from San Francisco, CA where we helped Microsoft showcase the WP7S experience in their Game Developers Conference booth.
SxSW 2010 Interactive (March 12-15, Austin) – We’re hosting a panel on the 12th, please come interact with us as we discuss “Touch + The Holy Grail of Delight” at 2pm http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/6124. We are also launching a fun new AR experience for the Razorfish cocktail party. Finally we will be at the Microsoft Speakeasy event showcasing the WP7S experience.
MIX10 (March 15-17, Vegas) – @stevedawson and @hulljon will be attending the conference. The WP7S experience will also be making an appearance … with updated content!
CTIA (March 22-25, Vegas) – WP7S experience will be out in force at this international wireless conference.
A quick thanks to all the peeps that helped out with RockstAR:
As part of our rapid prototyping process we will sometimes shoot quick little videos to share with our clients – its easier than hauling equipment all over the country . This video was shot on one of our 55″ multi-touch displays for the Windows Phone team just before heading over to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.