Electronic tinkering in The Rocks

August 28, 2012

Amnesia Sydney’s home ground, The Rocks, is a very pretty and tourist-friendly destination. And as we keep discovering through the council’s pop-up initiative, it is also fertile ground for creative experimentation. The case in hand is ‘&Company’ who have temporarily taken over a store next to the MCA.

Apart from showcasing emerging design talents they are offering quality hands-on creative workshops. Courses range from ‘Powertools for Girls‘ to ‘Interactive Electronic Objects‘.

I took the latter which was an introductory course into Arduino, the open-source microcontroller / software suite for programming. And I had a blast tinkering away my Sunday, plugging cables into speakers, triggering LED lights and getting my hands dirty with (processing-based) code. There is an intermediate course still available – get amongst it!

Do you have Sweden’s safest hands?

October 5, 2011

Cool idea by Swedish agency Åkestam Holst.

I had to Google translate it from Swedish but still reads well… (article from the agencies blog).

“Sweden’s safest hands”, is a contest in the iPhone, which is organised by the Post. The contest is part of a larger e-commerce campaign that is about to record is the safer choice when you send your packages.

The contest is to carry a digital package a certain distance using an iPhone app. This applies to transport package is as safe and secure as the Post.

42 packages have been packed with secret content to a value between 300 and 5000 dollars. Every day at 6, 12 and 18 released a new package. Do you deliver the package intact before anyone else, you win the contents. You decide where to begin and end, so it does not matter where you live in Sweden.

Download the app and compete on posten.se / safe hands

See contest trailer:

Watch it:

Read full article.


The Web won’t make you more creative, but it can certainly help!

July 5, 2011

It’s an odd fact of the marketing industry, that as you climb up through the ranks as a creative in agencies, you do less and less actual creative work. In fact your reward for progressing by demonstrating you creative prowess is,  the company makes you ultimately responsible for a whole load of activities that 1: you’ve never done before, and 2:That couldn’t be further removed from a creatives’ skill set than feasibly imaginable. Usually taking the form of a whole load admin, and often people management. That figures 😦 They can draw! (well scribble) Of course they can write a years performance plan for the rest of the creatives’ in the company.

Read the rest of this entry »

Get Perspective on the iPad 2

May 24, 2011

Alright, maybe that title is a little esoteric for the subject matter – but check out this coolness below.

This is the kind of 3D I’m excited about – the kind that removes the need for glasses. Sure, it might be hard to create 3D without glasses in a cinema setting where you’re unable to use head-coupling, but for personal devices? It’s great.

On a final note, something needs to be done about the term head-coupled. It’s gross.

Facehuggers, a modern classic example of head-coupling.


Legally stream (almost) all the music you want in Australia – for free.

December 16, 2010

We all like music, right? I mean, some of us profess to enjoy it more properly, appropriately or adequately than others – this here Superior Hipster for example:

…but when you get down to it, pretty much everybody likes it.

So, we all want more of it, right? Thus the dawn and success of the iPod, and various other MP3 players. We could carry our thousands of tunes with us everywhere we went, beautiful.

Read on through my rambles to find out what I think the best music streaming service available to Australians is (so far). Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing Razorfone: Simplifying Buying Decisions in Retail

November 25, 2009

Razorfish is proud to present Razorfone. The latest multi-touch project from Razorfish’s Emerging Experiences Team.

From the Emerging Experiences blog:

“Customers are being faced with increasingly complex buying decisions, especially when it comes to technology and services. As a result, increased pressure is being placed on store associates to provide knowledgeable service to customers. Our Emerging Experiences team used this opportunity to develop a solution to demonstrate how an immersive interactive experience can assist customers and store associates with complex buying decisions in a retail setting.”

Using Windows 7, the Razorfish Touch Framework and NextWindow touch screen technology, Razorfone is another example of how multi-touch experiences are going to become a bigger and bigger part of our lives.

Kudos to the Emerging Experiences Team!


Fantastic Contraption

September 29, 2009

This is an oldie, but a goodie. Fantastic contraption lets you build contraptions from wheels and support structures in order to reach your goal of getting the pink ball inside the pink rectangle.

3431We recently rediscovered this game, and spent an obscene amount of time trying outdo each other creating the most poorly designed machines possible. It’s also available on the iPhone. Here are a few of our attempts:

Ghostly Discovery – Music discovery based on your mood!

September 15, 2009

This is awesome! Great music, great UX. Check it out.


A streaming radio station and mood-based music discovery tool, Ghostly Discovery is a free app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that lets you listen to the Ghostly International and Spectral Sound catalogs (full songs, nothing less) and share your favorites with friends.

Twinfluencers Experiment: Watching Australian and US Journalists, CEOs and Twitterati using Twitter

August 24, 2009

An experimental site, www.twinfluencers.com created by Amnesia Razorfish launched ‘softly’ today. It takes a live look into “influencers” and what they are saying on Twitter as it happens.

www.twinfluencers.com monitors US and Australian Journalists, Twitterati and CEO’s

What does Twinfluencers do?
Twinfluencers is a dashboard showing live tweets from Twitter users considered to be influencers within specific groups (Journalists, CEOs and Twitterati). Currently we are breaking these out into Australia and US regions.

So what’s the point?

Whilst there are many tools which track trends, hashtags from the masses this tool takes another angle and provides a peek at live information being generated from these influencer groups. You can jump in at any time without needing to be a Twitter user. It also saves you having to follow and segment the 900(ish) people that Twinfluencers is watching!

Why did we build Twinfluencers?
Firstly, we love doing experiments – the point is we’re not 100% certain of ‘what comes next’. Secondly, we’re of the school of thought that if we’re going to become better at working in social media then “doing stuff” is the way to go. Building the tool may prove useful or useless, but the mere act of building it allowed us to learn some new things. We might yield some insight and analytics that become usable -that would be a bonus. Finally– we couldn’t find a tool that produced what we wanted to see so decided to do it ourselves (although half way through build we found a similar tool muckrack.com for US journos which is actually very good).

What might the site do in the future?
The lists will be keep being compiled and updated. We may add other countries if the demand is there. It would be nice to see some historical data, trends etc from these groups. There are a few minor UI tweaks to be made. We’ve already been asked to do a celebs version, although we specifically avoided celebrities in this round. Alternatively – if we learn nothing or find something better to do then maybe it will just fade away 😉

How many people are in the lists?
At time of writing, but being updated regularly at present;
Australian: Journalists (500) Twitterati (101) CEOs (30)
USA: Journalists (105) Twitterati (101) CEOs (30)

Where do the lists come from?
This was possibly one of the harder parts of the experiment and something we consider to be work in progress:

  • Journalists: We received lots of help from Dave Earley (@earleyedition) in sourcing a very consolidated list of Australian Journalists. US Journalists came from a variety of public sources and some Razorfish US assistance – we also decided to limit the number down to about 100, compared with a much more expanded number of Australian Journalists.
  • Twitterati: This was a slightly tougher list to quantify. In the end we based the list mainly by combining and filtering results from Grader, Retweetability index, Twinfluence, Twittercounter. We removed known ‘spammers’ or those using ‘follow agents’ to grow their count and occasionally factored in the start date of the account (earlier being better).
  • CEOS: Various sources (some tips) including Laurel Papworth.

How can I get my hands on the full list of these groups?
Whilst we’re still in beta testing we’re not openly distributing. The plan is that if the site generates any ongoing interest we will open the lists up – initially to individuals who are willing to contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the lists, and then open to public. Please remember, keeping these lists up to date is quite a lot of hard work.

”How can I get on the list? ARrgh – I deserve to be there!”
Firstly – tweet something and wait a couple of minutes (there can be a delay before you see your tweet appear). Not there? Yes… We know how this works and of course there are people who should be on there who aren’t and vice versa. We’ll keep adding but we’re trying to make this less about the egos, more about a tool that offers some value that we can learn a little from. For those who believe they have been wronged (and we do not mean to wrong anyone) there are some instructions on the site at the bottom of the page to suggest follows, “but” we will apply the same filtering and vague scrutiny to try to keep a balance. 🙂

Amazing App Store hyperwall

June 15, 2009

Soo cool – a live feed wall of over 3000 popular iPhone apps pulsating each time an app is downloaded.

Check it out!

& make sure you watch the videos.




Eliss – Multitouch Game for iphone

May 28, 2009

Eliss is a multitouch game for iPhone and iPod touch (available at iTunes store).

Keep up harmony in an odd universe made of blendable planets. Touch-control multiple planets at once, join them together into giant orbs or split them up into countless dwarf planets, and match their size with the squeesars.

Via Computerlove

I haven’t played it yet, but if the video is anything to go by it’s a must.
Nominated for an IGF Award ‘Innovation in Mobile Game Design’

Razorfish Emerging Experiences blog and labs

May 22, 2009

If you’re into the next generation of devices, technology, multi-touch – check out the new Razorfish blog ‘Emerging Experiences’ – http://emergingexperiences.com – there’s some really fascinating content to explore. As we move from the GUI (Graphic User Interface) to the NUI (Natural User Interface) this is great first look into what’s coming.


WPtouch: WordPress on iPhone, iPod & Android

May 21, 2009

More than just a plugin, WPtouch is an entire theme package for your WordPress website. Modeled after Apple’s app store design specs, WPtouch makes your WordPress website load lightning fast on touch mobile devices, show your content beautifully, all while not interfering with your regular theme.

Find out more…


Adobe Flash vs Microsoft Silverlight

May 13, 2009

Smashing Magazine has quite the debate going on in their blog about Flash vs Silverlight  – at last count 205 rather lively responses debating the pros and cons of each program. The editors at smashing have made the comparison process rather simple by chunking it down to topics like:
Animation, File Size, Scripting, Audio/Video etc etc.


A good read and food for thought if you use either application for development or design.

View Article

Discuss in the comments: Which do you use and would you consider switching?

Razorfish TweetDoubler – Amazing Twitter tool that allows twice the character count

April 1, 2009

We’re pretty excited here in Australia to be the first people globally to talk about a new text compression technology just released by Razorfish, one of the worlds largest digital agencies. The Razorfish guys in white coats have developed a compression algorithm that works on text, a bit like the way jpeg compresses an image – which means HUGE news for everyone using Twitter.

Try it now! www.tweetdoubler.com


Twitter normally only allows 140 characters. This Razorfish web application allows you type DOUBLE the normal amount.

You simply enter the text (up to 280 characters) – the compression takes about half a second, next your compressed tweet is sent out (under 140 chars) and then automatically decompressed as the end user views the message. It’s so simple, it’s hard to believe nobody has done this before.

We believe that in the future we can optimise the algorithm, potentially allowing 1000 characters to be compressed to inside Twitter’s limits of 140 characters. This first round of beta testing will provide us with enough data to push limits in the future.

Razorfish Credits:
Thanks to the globally coordinated team who have worked around the clock to bring this to life. Make sure you say Hi to them on Twitter:

Olaf Prilo (@olafprilo) – Independent Science and Maths Consultant.
Iain McDonald (@eunmac) – Creative Director.
Stephan Lange (@Maniac13) – Project Co-ordination.
Chris Saunders (@thesaund) – Lead Coder.
Michael Kliennman – Lead Design.
Shiv Singh – (@shivsingh) Social Media Director.
David Deal (@davidjdeal) – Marketing Director.

Please note this is a beta version open for testing for today only. Enjoy & have a wonderful day 😉


February 13, 2009

TED has just published David Merrill’s demonstration of Siftables.


So what is it?

Siftables aims to enable people to interact with information and media in physical, natural ways that approach interactions with physical objects in our everyday lives.

Wait for the math and music demo’s. Made of awesome.

Why Australia could fail in the event of a large Tsunami and how social media could prevent disaster.

February 8, 2009

We’re over 2 years since the terrible Tsunami of Dec 26 2006. At the time, most countries around the world had failed to put adequate measures in place capable of warning citizens in low lying areas. Since then a lot of work has been done. Australia has a monitoring system (of sorts), however it is seriously flawed in my opinion.

Why? Quite simply, by not embracing existing technology and modern consumer behaviour, tens of thousands of lives (maybe more) are at risk if a large scale tsunami or mega-tsunami were to hit our shores – especially at night. Historical events indicate Australia has experienced them in the past and experts don’t doubt there will be more (here).


Australia is surrounded by plate tectonics that are capable of generating a large tsunami.

The biggest threat is that there is only a 2-4 hour window from first warning until a tsunami hits Australian shores. A night-time tsunami could be devastating.

Australia has 1000’s of beachfront dwellings, metres from the ocean.

Here’s the problem with the AU system: The method of warning people of an approaching tsunami is outlined on the Bureau of Metorology website (here) – in fact it states:

Need Emergency Advice? Please listen to your local radio and TV announcements or call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) for latest warning information. For emergency assistance, call your local emergency authority on 132 500


Which raises a vital question: Exactly how is this system supposed to work if a tsunami hits Aussie shores at 4am when we’re all sleeping? Are we supposed to be tuned into our TV’s or listening to the radio at 4am? Is the siren going to sound and wake us? Nope. In fact there is a process shown on the BOM site, but it doesn’t explain how anyone will actually be alerted if we are all sleeping.

The diagram below shows the official process that will be initiated in the event of a Tsunami, but I would argue that with such short warning times (2-4 hours) any such system should be connected direct to publicly accessible data feeds.


The solution:
Our world has changed. We no longer rely on traditional media channels to broadcast information on a one to many ratio. The reality is that we are hyperconnected through the Internet, social media networks, broadband mobile networks. We are almost permanently wired. Twitter has shown to be a proven method of breaking news faster than anything else we have ever experienced allowing ‘people’ to be the carrier of a message, rather than a media channel like TV or Radio. In essence we have a global system made of networked people that could be alerted at high speed in the next emergency. A basic RSS feed direct from the tsunami system would allow applications to be built and installed on Phones, iPhones, computers, custom wifi or internet based products all of which are capable of alerting citizens quickly. Individuals receiving such an alert would be more likely by virtue of the technology, more highly connected than average and potentially capable of  transmitting the message far and wide through new digital channels, and in numbers this would likely be quicker then any government body or emergency at alerting mass numbers.

The Result:
Devices most consumers already own (phones, ipods, Laptops) will be capable of generating warnings with the right software installed, (even at 4am via alarm based apps), providing high risk-low lying coastal areas more warning time than they have currently.

What needs to be done immediately:
1. BOM site to install an RSS feed direct from the tsunami warning system. (Public could develop its own apps using this feed).*
2. Official warning apps made available across all digital devices capable of receiving the feed, made accessible from BOM site.

* I estimate that in terms of cost to produce (1) this would be little more than a couple of days work in development time for an experienced team.

I’ll be sending this blog post to Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull – via Twitter of course. Note: I’d send it to Senator Conroy (Minister for broadband / Internet), but he’s unfortunately still MIA when it comes to social media technology.

Update: 14/3/2011
Following the devastating Japan Tsunami on 11/3/11 I have reviewed this article. Most of what I have said still stands and the threat of a nighttime Tsunami is very real to Australian shores. There has been a little progress, but not enough:

The AU govt has introduced a new system http://www.emergencyalert.gov.au/ but unfortunately there are a many issues in relation to a major tsunami threat. As it says on the site “It was not technically possible to incorporate a location based capability”. Bottom line it is still a push alert system and will leave many at risk until users are able to ‘opt in’ to alerts.

However there is a private company that offers free AU Tsunami warnings via SMS etc here: http://www1.ewn.com.au/ – until the government gets its act together it’s probably the best option to get an alert to your phone in the middle of the night.

Regards – @eunmac

The spread of the Japan Tsunami 11/3/11


Mouse Clicks Heat Map application

January 19, 2009

In case you were wondering what you were really doing all day… this tracker app creates a nice heap map of your desktop clicks recording every little interaction for you to see visually. Uh-oh – from the look of it seems I spend way too much time in PowerPoint… groan.