Archive for June, 2009

CaT: The Allosphere, Future Glasses and A Lot of Geeking Out
Written by Mekanism at 12:41 pm • • 1 Commentdigital

A few of the Mekanistas headed out to NY this week for the Creativity and Technology Conference held by Creativity Magazine (I know, the name didn’t make that clear, so I reiterated).

I’ll restate most of what I’ve heard floating around in the afterglow of the show: data visualization is pretty awesome and is not just for geeks anymore, Augmented Reality is coming on EXTREMELY strong, and storytelling is stronger  than ever and is growing tighter and tighter with the emerging technological world.

Jason had the chance to speak about our storytelling model, and how through technology we’re trying to include the consumer more and more through personalization and conversation. You know, like using technology to scare the bejesus out of your friends, which we did with Toyota.

The best part about his talk? It came right after what appeared to be an actual ROCKET SCIENTIST speaking about a three-story metal sphere inside an echo-free cube designed for immersive, interactive scientific and artistic investigation of multi-dimensional data sets. No, seriously, dig in below.

So basically: we’re focusing our efforts on the use of groundbreaking, emerging technologies to enable things like peer-to-peer pranking…while everyone else is using it for the greater good of mankind…and creating allospheres. Good to know.

Seriously though, it was a great conference and we’re glad we could be a part of it and enjoy so many downright genius minds out there.

Seeing as I’m new to this conference circuit, I thought I’d throw out some general thoughts and takeaways I had from the experience instead of a general recap, as plenty of very smart folks out there have done a great job of this so far. So in following with how WE had to follow the Allosphere on stage on Wednesday, here’s my jackass take on the conference.  Enjoy.

  • According to dossier of who attended, our president Jason Harris attended twice. In one day. Which I’ve been told my whole life is impossible. So hey, good for you, Jason.
  • Apparently, everyone who is creating or harvesting a mind-blowing digital technology out there has a really cool accent. It’s like attending a convention where there are a million James Bond villains explaining rad flash plugins to you. My only basis for this argument was that Guillermo Ulloa of Papervision 3D said “proyects”, Bruno Uzza of Total Immersion was French and Daniel Graft of Kyte constantly spoke of Lady Gaga’s “vebsite”. Honestly though, seriously talented people out there. If you have a cool accent or any form of “villain” supertrait, give us a call. We’re hiring in that department.
  • When presenting, Jason’s “these are some of our co-workers” screen shot of people looking a bit “special” at what I presume to be comic-con wasn’t as funny to everyone else as it was to us.Not Mekanistas. Maybe. And we’re actually concerned that you all thought those really were people who work at Mekanism. They were not. We don’t affiliate with those people at all. Unless there is a REALLY bad-ass game of Warcraft going on. Then we’ll put on our conan/wizard costumes as well.
  • Twittering frequently and consistently as a conference goes on is really hard. Monitoring my other tweeting companions at the show, I learned that there are people who are ringers out there at this new trend. I know, I know…MAN it’s a rough life when your company wants you to continuously say thoughts in 140 characters or less. But no, seriously, it is. And I felt like I was on the live twittercasting short-bus. I’ve gotta up my game.
  • We were laughing at one of the panels, whose speaker was proclaimed “the wizard of data art”. Because we’re pretty sure that was not a pickup line a guy looked forward to throwing out when he was growing up. Um. It turns out the guy was actually a wizard. And the data he made art out of? Incredible. I mean, blow your mind incredible. It was pretty awesome and awe-inspiring to watch his brain work. A great example of his work leveraging Mechanical Turk is right here. Bet you didn’t see doodle-shop pro coming as “data art”, did you? Yeah. We felt like assholes for not believing the hype either. Aaron Koblin, you are the coolest damn wizard out there. We will never question your title again.
  • Raven Zachary of Small Society wears glasses from the future. Here is the proof. Raven and his Future GlassesThey push in on his temples as opposed to going around his ears. By far, the coolest part of the day. If he had shot laser beams out of them at one point, I would have in no way been shocked. He was also incredibly intelligent and very insightful on the future of mobile apps. So I guess in my opinion, everyone wins: We get to see awesome future glasses AND he was really smart and interesting.
  • The people from North Kingdom are pretty incredible at what they do. And their slides were in a very pretty font, which I found soothing.
  • Kevin Slavin of Area/Code should probably just leave his job and go do stand-up comedy. The guy was a true pleasure to listen to. Anyone who makes a joke about the price of crack cocaine to VP’s and CEO’s is a friend of ours.
  • Augmented Reality is officially at pee-your-pants levels of cool. While many people came in questioning if there was a useful application they could find for it, they left realizing that robot lego spaceships in 3-D launching off of boxes is just pretty cool and they should stop worrying about it. Seriously, guys. Robot Lego spaceships in 3-D. WHY question this??
  • Again, If anyone ever asks you to follow someone speaking about something called the AlloSphere, which is apparently a three-story metal sphere inside an echo-free cube designed for immersive, interactive scientific and artistic investigation of multi-dimensional data sets, ask if there is any other presentation you can follow besides that one. Turns out pranking your friend with a guy in a racoon suit seems a bit juvenile or “not rocket-scientest-y” enough after that. Well played, Joanne Kuchera Morin. Well Played.