We recently had the pleasure of working with Tequila (TBWA \ Chiat \ Day‘s interactive arm) to build a very unique interactive piece to market Nissan’s new Sentra model. The concept was based on the interactive webcam systems I’ve been playing with at incomplet.org[Moved to incomplet.gskinner.com]. Media vans (trucks with big screens on the side) in seven US cities would act as mobile installations, and users could play on screen via camera input.
Users standing in front of a red screen are masked out and projected over a video running in the background. Users can play with any of five interactive “lessons”: Catching virtual leaves, controlling the volume of different tracks of music with their movements, wiping fog and water drops off the screen, being chased by a swarm of fireflies, and kicking around a beachball sized soccer ball.
We even rigged it so that the software could all be operated by the van operators using a wireless remote from in front of the screen.
In addition to building all the software (100% Flash & AS3) and working with Tequila to develop the interactive concepts, we sourced all the hardware, which was more of a challenge than I expected. Even though we managed to do everything with off-the-shelf equipment, getting 9 sets of everything (7 on-site, 1 for development and 1 for back-up) was trickier than I would have thought.
It was a learning process, but I think we now have it down to a science, and I’m looking forwards to the next opportunity to apply this technology. The Nissan installations have been running for 3 weeks now, and it seems to be going very smoothly so far.
We also threw together a rough video of it in use in our office (thanks Kyle!) for anyone interested. The compression from SnagIt is pretty bad, and we didn’t bother making it beautiful, but I’m planning to post a better video (and more info) when I get back. I just wanted to post something while people could still check out the installations for themselves. (sorry, no audio – we don’t own rights to the music / audio in the installations)
I’m looking forwards to checking it out on-site in San Francisco this Saturday. Here’s the schedule for the final week if you are interested in having a look. I’d love to hear what you think of it.
|Chicago: OakBrook Court Mall||Nov 15-18, 11am-7pm
Nov 19, 11am-6pm
|Dallas: 5307 East Mockingbird Station||Nov 15-19, 4pm-12am|
|LA: Venice Beach Boardwalk||Nov 15-19, 9:30am-5:30pm|
|Miami: Downtown-Bayside Market Place||Nov 16 & 19: 1pm-9pm or 4pm-12am (game days)
Nov 17 & 18: 4pm-12am
|New York: corner of Lafayette & Houston||Nov 15-17: 11am-7pm
Nov 18 & 19: 10am-6pm
|San Francisco: Stonetown Mall||Nov 15-19, 11am-7pm|
|Washington DC: Landmark Mall||Nov 15-18, 10am-6pm
Nov 19, 11am-6pm
I’ll be posting some photos and video of the live installation in San Francisco, along with some other good stuff in a week or so.
Tequila was a ton of fun to work with, and I want to thank them and Nissan for taking a big chance on using bleeding-edge technology in a very public way. It was awesome having experimental work like this turn into a real commercial project. Definitely one of the coolest projects I’ve worked on in a long time.
Also, good news for those of you following my Resource Management articles: This system loads large videos, shifts tons of data, and uses BitmapData extensively. With some careful optimization I was able to get it to run 16hrs+ straight without ANY increase in memory or CPU usage. And yes, I will post the final article in the series soon!!