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.
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.
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:
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.
This site was inspired by a presentation I saw a few months back by Jocelyn Lai. She made a fantastic point about in this day and age you need to be “stalkable” . When someone tries to search for you in Google they should be able to see what you’re about. At the time I had my most social networking accounts set to private and there was no public place to find information about me. So now that’s changed.
We prototyped out a beacon experience with MasterCard’s Priceless Surprises campaign. The client liked it so much they decided to deploy it during the Northside festival (June 12th-19th 2014). The project was even written up in Fast Company:
We built in beacon-enabled Priceless Surprises into the existing Northside iPhone app that attendees would have downloaded. As they walked around the festival they would get a notification that they received a Priceless Surprise where they were then given free tickets to a concert at the festival. The beacons are a relatively new technology and building a consumer experience around them was…challenging.
Back in May of 2013 we received our Google Glass and we were dying to build something on it. After much deliberation we decided that the best idea would be to integrate with the newly launched CitiBike program. Users could be on a bike, pull over to the side, quickly get information on the surrounding bike share stations. Then they could follow the visual and audio directions to their destination. The application was picked up by Fast Company:
We built and released this app using the Glass Mirror API. We then submitted it to Google for approval. They rejected it saying that we should use the new GDK. So we rebuilt it, submitted it and as of now it’s the Google approval queue.