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.
Vital Score is an iPad app that you use while in the doctor’s office to quickly asses how healthy you are. I built a phase 1 and phase 2 prototype for them over the course of a few months. They installed the prototype if a few Dr offices and did some user testing. It initially integrated with a Withings scale but we switch to a Pally scale. The Pally scale allowed us to directly connect to the scale via Bluetooth witch allowed for a much better user experience. We then hired an agency to continue development to add user login and roll this out to more doctors.
Did you just Google “Who is Pickles at RGA?” to find out who this person is? Well it’s me. Real name is Michael C Piccuirro. I started working at R/GA in 2005 and I’m currently Technical Director of the Prototype Studio and the Data Visualization group. I am also an active software developer for Java, Objective C, HTML/CSS..etc. I’m from New Jersey and here is a picture of me and my son (daughter not pictured):
The nickname came about 15 years ago. It was during the heyday of the show Sopranos. Because of my affiliation with the Garden State coworkers nicknamed me Mickey Pickles as a play on my first and last name. It was then shortened to Pickles and it’s been that ever since.
Marc, Wade and I did a few speaking engagements to the students at MSU. This was lots of fun talking the the students about our careers and R/GA. The recruiter actually ended up hiring a couple students at R/GA. Also at the Protoype Studio we nabbed 2 summer interns from MSU. And of course we got to go skiing at Bridger Bowl and drink beer while stewing in a natural hot spring.
Here’s an article about the trip:
Cole and I putting his Christmas present together. This is inspired by Cole’s love of EvenTubeHD. Cole really wanted to make an Evan video for himself, so we recorded this in the basement.
A team at R/GA came to me with this awesome idea to allow anyone to do attention-grabbing advertising during the Super Bowl. I help them come up with a technical plan to do transparent video, did some quick prototyping then led a development team to launch it.
The challenge here was getting a transparent video to play over an iframe. At the end of the day it worked and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
This site has since been taken down:
Here’s some press:
And the video:
Marc, Yap and I did a talk about what the Prototype Studio was about. We touched on a bunch of projects we did and what makes a good prototype.