At Int. we always pursue ways to learn more. This project started when we were designing our new offices from scratch back in 2012. We wanted to explore how we can create interactive experiences in physical space: see how physical can merge with digital.
This meant having a solution that was integrated in the room and in our plan for the interiour design. Something that wouldn’t look technologically outdated in a year. We wanted it to be moaular: so that we could design its size, to balance its presence in the space. It had be smart, as well as something we could control and use for expressions, information, fun and messaging (such as greeting clients).
We wanted it to become something we could continuously develop together as a company, and especially something our new employees could play with and feed their creativity into.
We also wanted to learn about the aspects of installing and running such an integrated solution: like solving the issues of power consumption, heating, visibility in various light conditions, reliability over time, resistance to shock and vibration — to mention but a few.
After a period of research we found the Flipdots. Electromagnetic moving disks. It is a beautiful thing. Even the sound it makes when it the dots flip. But, the challenge was that it didn’t come with…anything. It is just a 28 × 14, 28 board that needs control units, assembly, frame – and when that is done – it needs a way to control the actual dots.
So, with good help from our friends at Graybits we did just that. Built a frame, mounted and connected all the boards. Designed the fonts from scratch, even.
GrayBits then customized GrayMatter, their CMS framework, to drive our Flipdots.
Like all good digital projects also this one is continuously evolving. Right now our cms supports building slides (and timing them), images (or sequences of images) can be uploaded (and the whole FlipDot wall being a resolution of 86x96 pixels our older designers got to show of their old school pixel skills), we have a kinect that can stream live video, a live html/css output of what is showing on our flipdots, we have live flickr slideshows, live weather updates, a google calendar feed. Now we are working on plugins to the cms such as making music (with the sound the flipdots makes when turning), playing games (using the kinect), twitter feeds – and whatever new ideas that comes to mind by the time you have read this.
Stop by our offices and have a look!