Microsoft Surface

The Biggest Thing in Retail is Actually Pretty Small: Welcome to #RZRShop

Jan 13, 2014 by in 5D, Experience Design, Kinect, Microsoft Surface, Mobile, Multi-touch, Near Field, News, Portfolio, Retail, Technology, Touchscreen


For this year’s National Retail Federation Annual Convention and Expo, we’ve built a highly interactive, surf-and-sand-inspired shopping experience. Built inside a uniquely portable container, RZRShop creates big moments inside a smaller, more nimble retail footprint. Digital meets physical with a Perceptive Pixel-powered surfboard designer that comes to life right before your eyes. And battle lines are drawn with a one-of-a-kind, dual screen Kinect beach soccer game and smart vending experience. Powered by the Razorfish 5D Retail Platform, RZRShop seamlessly connects a variety of devices to attract customers, drive product engagement and arm store associates with more contextualized tools. The end result is a fun and personal experience—the way shopping should be.

Visit for more information, and visit us in Microsoft booth #2703 to experience RZRShop for yourself.

Bringing 5D to Life at NRF

Jan 14, 2013 by in 5D, Augmented Reality, Experience Design, Kinect, Microsoft Kinect, Microsoft Surface, Multi-touch, Near Field, News, Portfolio, Retail, Technology, Touchscreen

Get your hands on the 5D experience by embarking on a unique shopping journey that utilizes a variety of platforms and technologies, including a first of it’s kind, seamlessly-synchronized transparent interactive display wall. It’s located in the Microsoft booth (1005) on Level 3. And to see more of 5D in action, head on over to


Enhanced Consumer Connections, Powered by Razorfish 5D

Nov 15, 2012 by in 5D, Experience Design, Kinect, Lab, Microsoft Surface, Mobile, Multi-touch, Near Field, Retail, Technology, Touchscreen

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.

Hidden Tech Features in Windows 8

Nov 12, 2012 by in Microsoft Surface, Multi-touch, Technology, Touchscreen


With Microsoft’s Build 2012 over and Surface now available for purchase, it seems like the only thing Microsoft developers can talk about is building Windows 8 store apps. Creating Windows apps that can be monetized using the same wildly successful revenue sharing model that Apple pioneered is compelling. However, in the rush to cash in on this new frontier it’s easy for developers to lose sight of the fact that Windows 8 is far more than the addition of a new shell and a new application model.

As a product, Windows has been continuously developed for over fifteen years (which is far longer than Apple has been using the revenue sharing monetization model), but this time Microsoft has built some great technologies that have received far less attention.

The first that comes to mind is DirectX. When most developers think of DirectX they typically think of 3D applications and games, and while DirectX is a great platform for building 3D applications and games, it is capable of doing much more. In Windows 7, Microsoft added Direct2D to the DirectX family of technologies, and as you would expect Direct2D finally adds the ability to execute drawing commands against a 2D surface. In many ways Direct2D is being setup to take the place of GDI, and because it is built on top of Direct3D and DXGI it is also hardware-accelerated and runs on the GPU. Microsoft has also added DirectWrite, which now provides developers a way to layout and render high quality text while making full use of the GPU. Before DirectWrite developers either had to use GDI or rig their own system to render text; now with DirectWrite, developers have access to a rich API that supports layout, international text, and sub-pixel anti-aliasing that integrated easily into the rest of their application whether they are using GDI or DirectX.

Even though DirectX is an amazing API and has only grown in capabilities over the years, there are still numerous applications that don’t use DirectX. Most of these applications use GDI (a much older technology ) to paint to the screen, and yet other applications use other rendering libraries like WPF. It used to be the case that once a developer chooses a core rendering technology to build an app, it was impractical to leverage any other rendering technology. Fortunately Microsoft has built a new technology into Windows 8 called Direct Composition that does away with this limitation. At its core, Direct Composition is simply a bitmap compositing engine. By using Direct Composition it is now possible to use WPF to build the bulk of your application, and to sprinkle in some DirectX code to give your app that extra sparkle that would otherwise be too difficult or which would run too slowly if attempted using WPF. Additionally, because Direct Composition is baked deep into Windows 8 it is possible to compose applications and effects that are generated from code running in separate processes, which opens up a whole new front in software engineering.

Direct Manipulation

While certainly not the last hidden technology in Windows 8, the last I’ll cover is Direct Manipulation. Most developers are extremely comfortable in the world of mouse driven user interfaces—we all understand the concepts of click, hover, right click, move, etc. But the world of touch driven user interfaces is largely uncharted by many developers and most will find that it is far more complicated and difficult than the mouse driven world. In a touch user interface, there may be one, two, five, or no touches on the screen. The user may be pinching to zoom or he or she may just want to move an object but by using two fingers instead of one. Of course it would be possible for developers to build state machines that were able to process and interpret these user gestures and to continue to build their touch based application, but it turns out that building these state machines is not an easy task. Fortunately Microsoft has done the hard work and has included the Direct Manipulation technology in Windows 8. Direct Manipulation is essentially just a touch input state machine that frees developers from the details of interpreting user input. Instead, by using Direct Manipulation, developers can be notified when a user is engaging in a common gesture like pinching, sliding, or rotating. In fact much of the Direct Manipulation API is the same as what you would find in WPF or in WinRT Xaml, and it is my guess that the WinRT Xaml stack is actually built on top of Direct Manipulation.

There are of course many other  new technologies that Microsoft has created for Windows 8 and still more existing technologies that Microsoft has improved. The Windows Store app model opens up entirely new markets for Microsoft developers, but let’s not forget that Windows 8 is still a great platform for building desktop apps.

5D at Oracle OpenWorld

Oct 30, 2012 by in 5D, Microsoft Kinect, Microsoft Surface, Touchscreen

In early October, the Emerging Experiences practice’s San Francisco office brought our Razorfish 5D retail platform to Oracle OpenWorld. Within this global event was the first ever Customer Experience Summit. This event gathered industry leaders together to discuss strategies for driving customer-centric initiatives while interacting with some of the most future-forward experiences and minds.

Emerging Experiences set up our Razorfish 5D retail experience in beautiful Union Square park. We demonstrated how a seamless customer journey can cross over touch tables, gestural sensors, digital screens, tablets and mobile apps to transform the retail experience.

The 5D installation for Oracle CX showed how each element of the contemporary brick-and-mortar store can be enhanced and streamlined. Digital displays, smartphones and HD touch tables communicated with each other to provide infinite shelves as well as an immersive experience to tell the stories behind the store brands.

Tablet software provided store associates with the opportunity to not only help shoppers select items, but even interact with their customer’s smartphones. The 5D retail experience also demonstrated how virtual dressing rooms with augmented reality can enhance the retail experience. Each of these touch-points in turn generates massive amounts of data about the sales process.

Sharing our retail story with the attendees at the Oracle Customer Experience Summit was both extremely rewarding and entertaining. We look forward to returning next year.

Introducing the Razorfish Connected Retail Experience Platform (code-named “5D”)

Jan 16, 2012 by in 5D, Augmented Reality, Experience Design, Microsoft Kinect, Microsoft Surface, Retail, Technology

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

Mobile Sharing on Surface with Amnesia Connect

Jan 24, 2011 by in Microsoft Surface

One of the questions we constantly asked ourselves was how we could utilize Microsoft Surface as an easy and collaborative sharing platform. Surface is a product designed for social environments, attracting and engaging people to take a seat around the table and interact. As smartphones take over the mobile market, it’s important to recognize that people expect to have intuitive ways to connect their handsets and share pictures, information or other data. But we still haven’t seen a solution which leverages the whole Surface potential to create a compelling mobile sharing experience.

This is where our newly developed Amnesia Connect platform comes in. It demonstrates the most seamless and visual sharing opportunities a Surface table can probably provide. With support for any number of mobile devices, users can literally see-through their device and share content as easy and tactile as it can get. It is perfectly suited for sharing visual data like images and video, but works for any other type of content as well.

At the moment we support iPhone and iPad devices and are currently evaluating other platforms as well. But we can already tell that it’s heart-warming to see Microsoft’s and Apple’s devices playing so nicely together and we can’t wait to throw other players into the mix as well.

Read the full press release here.

Razorfish Emerging Experiences Rolls Out the Red Pink Carpet at Cannes Lions

Jun 30, 2010 by in Microsoft Surface

Cannes Lions 2010

EE is once again in Europe and this time we brought RockstAR to Cannes Lions.

RockstAR - KISS

The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is the world’s biggest and most prestigious international advertising award festival, with more than 22,500 entries from all over the world. The Festival is attended by over 6,000 delegates from 90 countries.

Cannes Lions 2010

Microsoft Experience Center

Microsoft Tag recently came out of beta and the team asked us to help them make the announcement at Cannes Lions with the RockstAR experience at the Microsoft Experience Center (shown above). Microsoft Tag is a QR code technology that allows you to scan Tags from your mobile phone for instant access to information, websites, videos, reviews, and more. You can design custom Tags (color or b&w) and through the Microsoft Tag online tools you can manage and track analytics on their performance. It’s a great tool for advertisers across multiple channels.

As you may already know we integrated it into RockstAR so that users can snap a pic of the Tag in the experience and instantly download their RockstAR photos. It seemed like a good fit given the nature Cannes as an entertainment destination. And of course we integrated the usual social components like Twitter, Flickr and Facebook.

RockstAR on TVRockstAR demo

In the spirit of the World Cup we’ve added players from all over the world for users to interact with.

RockstAR - World Cup

Despite Fedex losing some of our equipment, the event was a huge success (good thing Steve always has a backup). After all this isn’t our first rodeo with the Microsoft Tag team.

Luckily we didn’t blow up any computers, however we did have a blast getting exclusive access to experience the new Xbox Kinect technology! We can’t wait to get our hands on this technology, the possibilities are endless.

Cannes Lions 2010

Check out the rest of our photos on Flickr. (even more photos and videos coming soon!)

Viva la France!


Audi A1 Multi-Touch Configurators at Geneva Motor Show 2010

Mar 08, 2010 by in Microsoft Surface, Multi-touch, News, Portfolio, Touchscreen

The Razorfish team in Germany partnered with Realtime Technology AG to build configuration experiences for the Audi A1 world premiere at the international motor show in Geneva. They are designed to attract and engage young people and to demonstrate the wide range of customization possibilities of the new Audi.

The first experience is located on the main stage, featuring a 24″ Multi-Touch display allowing users to interact with the car configuration and an additional 65″ display with synchronized high-definition 3d-rendering in real-time to garner even more attention. The complex configuration scenario is wrapped in a simple and easy-to-use interface. The application is based on Windows 7 and the Razorfish Touch Framework.

A1 to drive

A1 to drive

Audi A1

A1 all

The second configurator runs on Microsoft Surface and is based on the Audi A4 configurator. The multi-user environment allows individuals to place physical tokens on the table and configure their favorite A1 in a collaborative way. The extravagant competition kit adds exciting new possibilities to spice up the user’s virtual car.

A1 Surface

A1 Surface

A1 Surface

Both configurators can be seen live at Geneva Motor Show until March 14, 2010.

Audi Car Configurator on Surface

Sep 28, 2009 by in Microsoft Surface, Multi-touch, Portfolio, Technology

Neue Digitale / Razorfish developed the first realtime 3d configurator for Microsoft Surface which was showcased at this year’s IAA – the world’s leading automotive fair.

Developed in collaboration with Realtime Technology AG, the application allows multiple users to configure an Audi A4 simultaneously by changing the car’s paint finishes, rims and by selecting and coloring style package components. The configured A4 is experienced in an immersive 3d environment, in which users can navigate seamlessly by zooming and panning using a multitouch-enabled interface. Special perspectives allow a more detailed view for specific components, for example for configuring rims or taking a closer look at interior details.

To control the actual car configuration process users can place multilingual tokens on the table. All available options appear around the token and can be selected by touching or rotating the physical token.

The final car configuration is projected on an external High Definition display, attracting and engaging other visitors.