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.
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
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.
When it comes to travel, people care more about where they’re going than how they’re getting there. Delta Airlines understands this and asked Razorfish’s Emerging Experiences team to create an engaging experience for the WIRED Holiday Store in NYC. We wanted to tap into users’ imagination and sense of playfulness so that they walk away from the experience thinking about what kind of destinations they want to go to next and, of course, Delta.
In four (4) weeks we concepted, designed, developed and launched The Untravel Idea – a new, personal way for leisure travelers to encounter destinations. We wanted users to touch the future of travel.
The experience gives people an open-ended, creative experience that puts the user in control. First users choose the type mood they are looking for on their next getaway. From there users can select from a wide variety of relevant words that match their mood, and when put together, show them a range of destination possibilities. The result is a beautiful montage of photographic imagery that will transport the user’s imagination.
To extend the experience beyond the store, users are prompted to use their mobile device to snap a pic of a QR tag associated with each destination that allows them to explore additional destination info, video and travel packages.
The event was a complete success. People couldn’t wait to see where Delta would take them next. The Takeaway – Delta is not just an airline; they’re giving me new ways to discover travel destinations.
This is the future of travel … and it’s just the beginning.
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.
The Consumer Electronics Show was back for 2011 and our team was on the ground in Las Vegas. We have a number of initiatives going on at CES this year.
First, our team was involved in the Microsoft Surface 2.0 launch. We’ve been working with the Surface team for a few months on the next generation of Surface. We’ve been porting our applications to run on the latest version. We can proudly announce that we are Surface 2.0 ready and we look forward to supporting the new platform and bringing the solution to our clients. The Microsoft Surface announcement caught the media by surprise – it’s been over 3 years since the original Surface was announced. The new device is faster, leaner and costs less than the previous version of Surface. We’ll have an in-detail analysis of Microsoft Surface 2.0 posted on the blog shortly.
Second, we were involved in the launch of another experience for one of our clients. We created a solution that will be experienced by millions of consumers in the market. Unfortunately our involvement must remain confidential so we can’t go into too many details. Let’s just say it was definitely one of those opportunities that we could not pass up!
We took the opportunity to explore the trade show floor in an effort to educate ourselves on the latest technology offerings. We hope to bring some of these technologies to our clients in 2011. Here are some of the technologies that we’ve got our eye on.
2011 has been declared the “year of the tablet”. There were certainly no shortage of tablets at CES. In fact, about 80 new tablet form-factor devices were announced at CES this year.
From a hardware perspective, tablets are getting thinner, lighter and more powerful thanks to innovation around chip technology from companies like Intel, ARM, nVidia and Qualcomm. There are a variety of new form-factors hitting the market. The Eee Pad Transformer tablet can be docked in a base which transforms the device into a traditional laptop form-factor. The Dell Inspiron Duo tablet features a reversible screen to accomplish the same thing.
There were a variety of different screen sizes available. One of the interesting debates between amongst members of our team was around the usefulness of the small screen tablets. These “tweener” devices feature screens between the size of a typical phone and an iPad. The smaller size means they are more portable than an iPad, however they still can’t fit in your pocket and they can’t make phone calls.
One of the most impressive devices was the BlackBerry Playbook. The device features a brilliant user interface which makes use of NUI design principals – direct interaction of content through the use of gestures. In addition, the performance of the device was exceptional. We can’t wait to start developing for this platform.
For the first time, we had the opportunity to see the new Android Honeycomb tablet OS. The exerience is decidedly Android retaining much of the same design language. Improvements have been made to the user interface to take into account the additional tablet real-estate. In all honesty, we were slightly disappointed with the user interface. We were hoping for something game-changing from Google and instead, they delivered an experience that was transitional, not transformational.
One of the major disappointments was the lack of direction from Microsoft on tablet devices. We were crossing our fingers for an announcement around a tablet operating system that was lightweight and provided an exceptional user experience similar to what is being provided on Windows Phone 7 platform. And we wanted this platform soon.
Microsoft did acknowledge they are behind in the space. Right now, their story is positioning Windows 8 as the solution for tablets by supporting system-on-a-chip architecture. By supporting this hardware platform, Microsoft will be able to deliver Windows experiences on tablet devices while taking into account battery life and OS performance.
Unfortunately, no announcements were made around the Windows 8 user interface. Delivering an exceptional tablet UI will be essential to their strategy. It is likely Microsoft will adopt the “Metro” design language currently being used for Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Surface 2.0.
Gesture Control and Natural Interaction
With the release and success of Xbox Kinect, the gesture control market is heating up. Much like the original iPhone brought touch interaction into the mainstream by putting millions of devices in the hands of consumers, Xbox Kinect will do the same for gesture control. The way we interact with computers is fundamentally changing and we are getting in on the ground floor.
We’ve taken the opportunity to develop for the Kinect platform, however we were looking for a commercial-grade solution to bring to our clients. Enter PrimeSense.
PrimeSense licenses their technology to Microsoft for use in the Xbox Kinect, therefore they seemed like the perfect partner to deliver the hardware and software to support commercialized gesture control solutions. We are actively working with PrimeSense to develop for their platform. Their OpenNI initiative hopes to create a framework for standardization of natural interface development across devices.
We see gesture control technology being used in an in-home setting and also in retail environments. This technology can be utilized to create at-home shopping experiences which combine natural interaction and augmented reality. Imagine being able to virtually try on clothes from the comfort of your own home. Or order a pizza with a flick of the wrist from the comfort of your couch.
We have been champions of the use of interactive experiences in the retail environment and we have the statistics to prove it. To date, the majority of our experiences have utilized touch. This technology provides a new user interaction paradigm and offers an entirely new world of possibilities in the retail space.
Touch screen technology is evolving rapidly. Devices are becoming larger, cheaper and more reliable. Exciting new form-factors and multi-touch hardware will help us deliver new experiences to our clients in 2011.
3M Touch Systems has exciting new hardware and form-factors hitting the market which utilize their massively multi-touch projected capacitive technology. This technology provides extremely stable multi-touch that supports a large amount of touch points. 3M is brining 23” and 32” screen sizes to the market. In additional, the screens can be integrated into a multi-device array to build large size touch wall and table experiences.
We also had some hands-on time with systems from PQ Labs and Multitouch.fi. Both vendors offer touch solutions that are unique and exceptional. We look forward to working with these companies in the future.
Displays are getting thinner, lighter and more energy efficient. 3D technology is also evolving quickly. Much like last year, 3D display technology was everywhere. The most impressive innovation in the 3D TV space comes from LG. They demonstrated how their 3D technology has been standardized – every TV on display in their booth could utilize the same pair of glasses to deliver an exceptional 3D experience. They also demonstrated flicker-less 3D which produced a better 3D picture than we’ve seen on any other consumer device.
The glasses-less 3D technology was a disappointment. There isn’t enough discernable depth with the current iteration of the technology. Certainly this will change over time, however the promise of ditching the glasses has yet to be fulfilled. We wouldn’t be surprised if this changes in 2011.
Ford had the major innovations in the automotive space. The Ford Focus Electric vehicle was announced along with an update to the MyFord Touch interface. The interface features a number of enhancements including the ability to visualize your destination and alert the driver if there isn’t adequate charge in the vehicle’s battery. In addition, an efficiency coach monitors your driving habits to advise changes to your driving style and an “Emotive Display” visualizes butterflies when you are driving in a way that adds range to your vehicle.
MyFord Mobile was also announced. The app allows you to locate charging stations, unlock doors and find the location of the vehicle. In addition, the app goes social with driving behavior monitoring – achievements are awarded once certain milestones are met. These achievements can be shared on Facebook.
Mobile continues to demonstrate its growing importance with many different audiences. People are buying smartphones, texting like mad, and choosing the phone over the PC for web browsing at a surprising clip. All of this points to a need to take mobile ever more seriously. At the same time, the possibilities of mobile display advertising continue to evolve, most recently with mobile rich media formats bursting onto the scene. We’ve gathered some of the best examples of mobile rich media across a wide variety of platforms, networks, and 3rd party specialists – including the Razorfish-built iAd for JCPenney. Check it out.
A wide range of Oakley products are designed for sports fans and outdoor living people who are dependent on their equipment when practising their passion and living their dreams. Choosing the right sunglass lens makes a significant difference when sports and outdoor activities are taken seriously. To guide the consumer through this decision process, we have implemented an iPhone and iPad App which simulates realistic scenarios by using engaging 3d-panorama landscapes wrapped in an intuitive touch- and accelerometer-based interface.
The overall experience features more than 18 lens tints in spectacular environments and various weather conditions. Once the perfect lens is selected, a detailed product information is just one touch away.
Our team was asked to help launch the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 project at Mobile World Congress 2010. The project was a whirlwind experience – starting with 5 weeks of design/development and 11 days of deployment and support that spanned 2 continents and countless late nights. It was all worth it when Steve Ballmer made the introduction and we were all a part of history as the next generation in mobile experiences was announced to the 50k MWC attendees and a larger worldwide audience. The people lucky enough to be in attendance couldn’t wait to get their hands on the experience we built.
We setup 10 touchscreens in 2 locations and the experiences were in constant use. Microsoft has since taken the touchscreens to countless other events including MIX10, SXSW 2010, CES, CTIA and many many more.
In addition to the touchscreen experiences, we also worked with our Seattle team to produce a microsite experience that would allow those not in attendance to get a taste of the phone.
Since we were running the experience in the Microsoft booth, we decided to add some new characters – the most popular of which being Steve Ballmer:
We used the experience as a way to engage with conference attendees and demonstrate an innovative use of Microsoft Tag technology. As conference attendees had their RockstAR snapshot taken, we’d ask them to download the tag reader application to their mobile device. Afterwards, they could take a snapshot of the Microsoft Tag and retrieve their photo. We took over 300 photos at the event.
The RockstAR experience is another example of how you can use tag technology to extend an interactive in-store experience to a customers’ mobile device. Wishlists, shopping carts, mobile content delivery, product ratings & reviews and wayfinding are some of the examples of how tag technology can be used to change the way people shop in retail.
Check out our pictures from the event.