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 emergingexperiences.com/5D.
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.
Most Contagious, that is.
We’re excited to announce that Audi City London has claimed Contagious Magazine’s Most Contagious Retail Award at a ceremony today in London. This experience was a year-long collaborative effort between Audi and a wide range of partners, and was launched near Piccadilly Circus just ahead of the summer Olympics. It is delivered by one of the most technologically advanced retail environments ever created and features a variety of multi-touch displays for configuring your Audi from millions of possible combinations. Once you’ve created your personalized Audi at this groundbreaking dealership, you can toss it onto one of the floor-to-ceiling digital “powerwalls” to visualize and explore your configuration at a true 1:1 scale. Audi City London is a true dealership of the future and an effort we were proud to be part of.
Photo: Gaurav Singh
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’re excited by the launch of a revolutionary showroom experience for a premiere automotive brand. After a year of collaboration between Audi and a wide range of partners, Audi City has launched near Piccadilly Circus in London, ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
Audi City London is a groundbreaking dealership experience delivered by one of the most technologically advanced retail environments ever created. The digital environment features multi-touch displays for configuring your Audi vehicle from millions of possible combinations. Your personalized car is visualized in photorealistic 3D using real-time render technology, making the Audi City vehicle configurator the most advanced in the world. After personalizing your Audi, you can toss your vehicle onto one of the floor-to-ceiling digital “powerwalls” to visualize your car configuration in life-size scale. From here, you can use gestures to interact with your personalized vehicle, exploring every angle and detail in high resolution using Kinect technology.
A purely digital showroom can’t deliver on the tactile experience of buying a car. Therefore, a store associate can save your configuration on a RFID-enabled USB stick and guide you into a personal consultation area that features a variety of tactile objects. These objects help the customers get hands-on with the materials of the vehicle including car exterior color and finish options and interior upholstery options. Each of these tangible objects are digitally-tagged through RFID technology. You can bring bring any of these physical objects over to the configurator experience and the corresponding exterior paint finishes and interior options will automatically update your vehicle configuration.
When purchasing a car, the customer journey occurs across multiple channels. In order to integrate and simplify the car buying process, we’ve allowed customers to retrieve their online car configurations in the showroom environment. In addition, any car configuration made in the showroom is synchronized to your personal USB stick. Simply pop in the USB stick at home and the web-based configurator is automatically launched with the exact car configuration you created in the showroom. This allows Audi to deliver a “start anywhere, end anywhere” buying cycle for the customer, which has proven elusive for retailers.
Not only is Audi City a premier showroom environment, the dealership concept represents a fundamental shift in retail strategy for the brand. This new small-footprint retail format brings Audi closer to their customers, not only geographically but also emotionally. The smaller-footprint concept will launch in metropolitan environments and reach a younger urban and digitally-enabled demographic. After hours, the environment will serve as a cultural center in the larger community by playing host to readings, round-table discussions and art exhibitions.
“Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management at Audi. “People are placing greater emphasis than ever before on a direct and personal bond of trust with their vehicle brand – especially in respect of the increasing variety of products and available information. Thus, with Audi City we are creating a one-stop-shop for experiencing our brand. It is right in the midst of our customers’ lives, yet seamlessly connected to the online range offered by the four rings.”
Audi announced at the London launch that 20 showrooms in other major international cities will follow by 2015.
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:
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.