My first chatbot! A friend at work named Stu Carnes was trying to launch this wine guide for the Google Home. I used api.ai to structure all the things you can ask it and created a backend api that allowed him to easily add/edit what the responses would be. If you have a Google Home or use Google Actions give it a try.
My son is in the Cub Scouts and wanted to build a “Star Power Mario Car” for the pinewood derby. There are a lot awards other than fastest that you can pickup so I decided to go for style points. I used a Tinket, Bluefuirt and Neopixel strips from Adafruit and basically combined this and this tutorial.
It worked great for the judge but during the actual race the neopixels weren’t working. I think didn’t have enough power going to them.
Here’s a video demoing what we built:
Samsung was looking for a new experience in their 837 space in the meatpacking district. We worked with a photographer named Carlos Serrao to put together a tunnel where photography lighting and a Samsung Galaxy S7 phone work together to create interesting pictures of people. After walking through you can use a different S7 to see your picture, email it to yourself and share it up on the video wall outside the tunnel. Here’s my picture when we opened it.
Unfortunately, my Kickstarter idea did not get funded. Due to the way the product gets manufactured I needed A LOT of money up front. It was a stretch but sometimes these things take off, sometimes they don’t. In this case it didn’t. The process of coming up with an idea, developing it, launching a Kickstarter and trying to promote it was a really fun learning experience for me. I’m looking forward to the next project where I can get out of my comfort zone and try something new.
A lot of my time in 2015 was spent on these large screens at the cafe of the R/GA office. I was the technical director and there was a large team of creatives and developers on this project. 30 separate displays all working together, able to to be updated in real-time all in full resolution. It was not easy putting together a solution but on January 4th 2016 when we moved into the new office it was all online. Shortly after launch I figured out a way to use LISNR technology to allow people to hear the audio for the videos on their mobile devices.
You can read about the new office here:
An ex-coworker of mine had an idea of organizing a big unfollowing of Donald Trump to make a statement. So with the help of another web developer we built http://www.unfollow-trump.com It didn’t really catch on but it got some attention in the press:
Looks like Ayre took the original site down but you can see the staging site here:
During the week of February 28th 2016 a few of us flew over to Singapore with the goal of standing up a Prototype Studio in the region. We met with R/GA people from the Singapore, Shanghai and Sydney offices for presentations and workshops. I feel really good about what we started there and we plan on all working closely to make sure it’s successful.
My most successful attempt at an accidental viral marketing campaign. When I moved seats from 350 W 39th St to 333 W 39th Street I was right up against the window. I created this Instagram account to capture people walking by and I would tag them in the picture. Then this buzz took over the agency wondering in who was taking pictures and the more people talked about it then more subscribers it got. Sadly it all ended when we moved to our new office on 33rd Street.
I built a retro gaming console with the Raspberry Pi recently for my 7 year old son and he really liked it. Not only is it great revisiting all those old favorite games but with a few tweaks he can use it independently. There was a lot of things I had to figure out myself and I figured there may be a few other dads out there trying to same thing so I put all the information in this comprehensive guide. Feel free to comment on any part that is wrong or unclear.
In the summer of 2014 the Fossil team came to the Prototype Studio to help them build a prototype of what would later be called the Fossil Q. It’s a wearable device that looks like a normal watch or bracelet and would be sold in the existing jewelry counters of department stores. The Prototype Studio had 2 jobs, define the technical constraints the creative teams would have to work around and build an early working version using the devices provided by their hardware partner Intel.
It turned out at the time that the Intel hardware was not quite ready to be sent to us so we had our own board built with the same features the Intel hardware had, we hollowed out an existing Fossil watch and put the board in that. This allowed us and the client to put the watch on and tightly iterate on what the features did and how it worked. It also allowed us to understand the constraints of developing a product like this in iOS and we could work with the creative team to come up with solutions around those constraints.
Eventually the Intel hardware was delivered and we swapped that in. This gave us a great starting place to test the capabilities of the Intel hardware and it’s SDK. Then once we were sure we’d be able to provide a great user experience around the hardware a development team was created to build the consumer facing Android and iOS apps. Then almost a year later the Fossil Q was launched.