Facebook, already the biggest brand in social media, was looking for a better way to bridge the gap between celebrities and fans, specifically at live events. Behold: The Facebook “Mentions Box” which just debuted at the 2014 Emmy’s — allowing celebrities to “shake” the device to surface a fan question (pulling directly from the event’s Facebook Page) and immediately record a video response back.
At the Emmys, the Mentions Box was used by everyone from Jimmy Fallon, to Matthew McConaughey, to Ty Burrell and Jason Biggs — to stars from Game of Thrones, Orange Is the New Black, and HBO’s Silicon Valley (see below!).
After many discussions, brainstorms, and rapid prototyping efforts focused on how to best represent the Facebook platform in physical space, we landed on a simple concept drawing inspiration from mediums people already know and enjoy (landing on something between a Magic 8-Ball in function and an Etch-A-Sketch in form).
Ultimately, we settled on a tablet encased in a polycarbonate form factor, with a luxury car finish.
We started the process by concepting potential types of physical devices that talent would be able to easily (and quickly) interact with — using cardboard and simple materials to play around with various form factors.
The admin console (primarily a question moderation tool) sources questions from specific Facebook posts and then pushes approved questions straight to The Facebook Mentions Box.
Leading up to the Emmy’s, The Mentions Box was featured on Access Hollywood by hosts Billy Bush and Shaun Robinson:
More pics of the Mentions Box in action, straight from the Access Hollywood Facebook Page!
Lately, I have been obsessing over the Electric Imp, a small internet connected device that allows makers to do some pretty awesome things. Where it truly excels is pulling in live data from APIs.
With our office located in Dupont Circle, we have easy access to the Metro and Capital Bikeshare Stations. Since our team is constantly on the go, I thought it would be helpful to manipulate this travel data in a fun way, easily digestible way. Thus Transit was born.
The first step in building Transit was choosing the hardware. I decided to go with six LED matrices that provided a similar aesthetic to the real metro signs, one Arduino Mega to power the LEDs, and an Electric Imp to collect the desired data. Next I brainstormed how much information I would like to show. I decided to display the next four trains arriving at the Dupont Circle metro, how many Capital Bikeshare bikes were available at the Dupont station, and the current temperature for Washington, DC.
The final unit is mounted on the wall between our two elevators, making it easy for people to see the information they need before they head out of the office. The sign pulls in new data from each of the APIs every 30 seconds.
P.S. I must commend the WMATA’s API for this project. Everything from signing up to embedding their data was extremely well done and easy to use.
Meet S.E.L.F.I.E., the “The Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine”. Triggered by simply standing in front of the mirror and holding a smile, hidden LED’s indicate a countdown, then simulate a “flash” as your photo is taken. The photo is then automatically posted to Twitter (with a watermark/logo).
Find out how it works and see it in action:
A MacMini powers the facial recognition software:
The LEDs (controlled by an Arduino) visualize the countdown timer:
All components are hidden behind the 2-way mirror:
A custom vinyl graphic on the floor let’s you know exactly where to stand:
Want one for yourself? Have some ideas for our next experiment? Hit us up!
Say hello to Hypermind: our very own in-house publication created entirely on iBooks Author.
Whether you’re a marketer, maker or designer, Hypermind is your guide for exploring the possibilities of creative technology. Each edition includes interviews, insights, and experiments gathered from innovators across the globe, helping you discover secret weapons for conquering your next big adventure.
This inaugural edition of Hypermind seeks to explore “The Internet of Things” — investigating how brands/startups/marketers have leveraged readily accessible technology to create innovative products & experiences. We’ve tapped some big names (from Budweiser to GE) and spoke with some stars in the making in order to provide a rapid fire snapshot of trends we’ve seen, and to illuminate a path for projects to come.
Download your copy of Hypermind from the iBooks store HERE. (Keep in mind: it’s an iBook, so you do need to have iBooks installed!).
As our company has continued to grow our desire for common work space has increased. We recently decided to turn our “Dev Cave” into a multipurpose meeting area — allowing for our team to take client calls, have project check-ins, and work together productively in an enclosed space. We initially mounted an “On Air” sign above the Cave’s door that was activated via a button on the wall. The system worked, but there was room for improvement. Enter: “The LED Cave Sign”.
The LED Cave Sign is powered by an Electric Imp and an Arduino, with a simple webpage acting as the control center. An iPad inside the Cave runs the webpage and has a multiple buttons that allow people to control the display. When the user taps one of the buttons on the iPad, a signal is sent to the Electric Imp, which then sends a signal to an Arduino Mega. The Arduino then relays the information to the LED array, and there you have it!