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.
A journalist from The Drum came in to interview us. Here’s the piece:
This was a project I was tech director on in the Spring/Summer of 2014. I wasn’t exactly sure when I was allowed to talk about but since you can now find it on Google I guess it’s OK.
The Dodgers hired us to revamp their entire trading process. We built them a room where they could discuss/argue/debate potential trades. There was a 5 x 3 HD display powered by a web application running at full resolution (9600 x 3240). There was also a desktop and iPad experience to control the information displayed on the big screen.
The development team did an amazing job, building a nodde.js backend which had to integrate with some 3rd party data sources. Also since a part of the front end was running at such a high resolution it had to be built in a way where it would scale up gracefully.
By the trade deadline last year the application was running great and looking amazing.
Here’s the a case study video we created, you can skip to 0:55 to see my beautiful mug:)
Because of the nature of prototypes I don’t get to work on things that are actually released to the public very often but this is an application we built that anyone with an iPhone can actually download. It’s an audio tour app for our Lincoln Center client. One of the major challenges here was releasing an app chock full of content with a download size under 100 meg. But now my swift and interface builder constraint skills are strong….so very strong.
UPDATE: Looks like the client pulled it from the app store to button up a few things.
Click here to give it a try:
For the last 2 years and change I’ve been the Technical Director for the R/GA prototype studio. We just released a new sizzle reel. Click here to see what we’re all about.
How do you get 74 Samsung devices all playing different videos synchronized at exactly the right time? You call Aaron and myself from the RGA Prototype Studio. We built a node.js/socket.io/Android platform to allow the director to start/stop/reset the videos on all the devices simultaneously. The devices were all Wi-Fi’ed into a heavy duty router and there was a Samsung laptop running the node server. The director had a slick web-based management console to run the whole thing. The system took 4 days or so to build and it ended up working great. The RGA Content Studio and RGA Samsung team put the whole thing together and it came out amazing. Take a look:
Scrub to 1:30 to see me talking.
So as it often happens a project we work on at the Prototype Studio takes a while before it actually becomes real and sees the light of day. We worked with the Equinox team about a year ago on this idea. They came to us with some connected stationary bikes and software that was supposed to aggregate all the data. The question posed was “How can we use this to build a polished spin class experience for our members?”. After a few weeks we had a working prototype where 2 riders could compete head-to-head in 2-3 simple games, all built on the same equipment used in the gym. After we got that up and running we handed it off to the Equinox team in RGA who worked months and months on the final consumer-facing experience being launched.