iBeacons and WayFinding

iBeacons and WayFinding

Managed to get my hands on the Estimote development kit this week, and very exciting it is too. iBeacon is one of the lesser known additions that made it’s way into Apples iOS 7 release.

Basically, Estimote Beacons are small, beautifully designed sensors that could be placed anywhere in the physical world. Once installed, e.g. next to an entry door or on product shelves, they start broadcasting tiny radio signals.

These signals can be picked up by consumers’ smartphones, at which point the compatible app triggers different actions, such as welcoming consumers to the store, displaying coupons or helping to navigate the store layout very precisely.

Apologies to my work colleagues who have watched me, seemingly, wander aimlessly around the studio, eyes glued to my iPad waiting for media to be triggered by these funny looking rocks.

The great thing about Estimote is not just their SDK on GitHub but the fact that their Virtual Beacon App allows any iOS device to become a Beacon (for development).

Talking about: UX Hacking


I’ll talk about what interests me at the drop of the proverbial, and luckily at work I get the opportunity, as we often have ‘Breakfast Epiphanies’ – an agency-wide gettogether to discuss projects, influences, and the New!


The latest subject was UX, and I was asked to contribute. Given my recent experience on the InkHack day, I wanted to disrupt the ‘digital’ definition of UX and move it into the Physical. So there were slides like this:




With that out of the way, it was all about shifting User Experience into the real world. So there were examples of bad UX , for instance, taps that need explanation; a pet hate that I spent too long documenting a few years ago. This led nicely into Physical UX experience and how agencys and individuals are hacking these to create their own.



This obviously led to my own experiences on InkHack…



And from there into forays into Experience triggered via Capacitive Sensing. Below is a example of some of the Electric Paint interfaces I created for talk on circuits at my son’s school.


The Audience Participation round!

All too aware that these talks can become stale, I wanted to allow people to create their own UX interface, inspired by the Smooch Booth.

A photo was taken whenever a circuit was completed – this invited some creative solutions!


Below are some of the images captured on the day.

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* Capacitive sensing using an Arduino Uno, Electric Paint and a TouchKey USB shield (£18 eBay). WebCam capture via Processing, and jpegs posted to Tumblr via Python and Temboo. :)

3D Printing: Ultimaker trial

It’s arrived! Thank you Ultimaker :)




Oops. Better thicken that base layer.IMG_6827

Arduino bumpers


Me! Scanned with Kinect and Scanect.IMG_6838 IMG_6844

Ultimaker’s Cuba software, and a client prototype.

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50 Years of Doctor Who prompted this.

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Fractal shapes, and a nice vase to boot.

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Oops. Again. Better check those settings.

To be fair, in my limited experiences with 3D Printing, the fails are almost as good as the successes. As you learn more about the materials, models, and software.


Talking about: Doing it for the kids

Today I got the opportunity to speak to a class of 8 year olds. Frightening!
It was my son’s class, so how bad could it be?

They’d been learning about circuits, and I had a few Electric Paint pens left over from the recent Bare Conductive and Moving Brands ‘InkHack’ – where I built the Conductive Safe with the awesome TouchBoard.

Anyways. Without the yet-to-be-released TouchBoard (check out Kickstarter), I fell back on some simple circuits that lit LEDs, switches that when the paint was touched activated an Iron Man arc reactor toy and a Capacitive shield (USB TouchKey) that changed the colour of an RGB LED depending on the word they touched.

The Capacitive part was probably the most fun, as I had one child touch the GND and another choose a colour. Of course nothing happened, until they held hands and completed the circuit!

It was a lot of fun. Hope the kids enjoyed it as much as me.


Talking about: Real World 3D Printing

Inspired by recent developments in 3D Printing and the number of exhibitions in London during the summer, as well as the number of queries on the subject at work, I opted to present a talk on:


As much as I hated to do it, I had to include THE gun. Whilst I had an Ultimaker 3D Printer on loan(MASSIVE Thanks to them), it seemed that all anyone wanted to know was when I was going to print a gun! FFS. S0 with that I started by dispelling the myths and dangers around the subject, whilst pointing out that the recent successful ‘firing’ came from Solid Concepts on an $800,000 SLS printer!

Then I formally introduced myself…


And then gave a brief overview of the costs involved in desktop/additive 3D Printing and the materials available.


As I mentioned, this Talk partly came on the back of the wealth of exhibitions in London 2013 – most notably at the Science Museum, Design Museum and 3D Print Show.


The Talk then progressed to High Fashion, including Dita Von Teese’s dress and Iris Van Herpen, and the concept of OpenSource fashion delivered by MakerBot and Francis Bitonti.

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No discussion on 3D Printing would be complete without touching on Selfies. This included looks at iMakr’s pop-up store in Selfridges, as well as my own experiences at London 3D MeetUps (see my intro slide).Slide19 Slide24

Desktop printing is all fine n good for prototyping but what about bigger objects and more refined items? Here I looked at medical applications, movie props, and even cars.

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From a client perspective, and particularly event-based applications, the concept of creating a physical representation of social data and analytics is hugely attractive. The abstract slide below is from an experiment by the digital artist, Brendan Dawes, and represents music as a 3D object, with additional slides with client work from Ogilvy and Sapient Nitro.

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With the idea of client-friendly printing in mind, I shared some work from another of the Jack Morton offices. New York maintained 2 MakerBot Replicator 2’s on their Hertz stand in 2012, creating a variety of key fobs and giveaways for visitors to the stand.Slide39

Always one for Harsh Realities I wanted to impart the truth – as wonderful as all this is, we need time for R&D! The Seven P’s – Proper, Prior, Planning, Prevents, Piss, Poor, Performance.


That said, it pays to end on a joke :)



Thank You