Schematic Forms New Division Focused on Interactive Out-of-Home Experiences

--Company Debuted Interactive "Touchwall" Display Earlier This Year

Interactive design company, Schematic (note: the company's chief creative officer is high-profile interactive TV industry figure, Dale Herigstad), last Thursday officially launched a new interactive, out-of-home (IOH) division, called Schematic Touch, which it says will help brands and venues connect with consumers by creating interactive experiences in public places. The company says that the new division is headed up by "experiential marketing pioneers," Eric Mauriello and Josiah Hobson, who will hold the titles SVP of Schematic Touch and creative director of Schematic Touch respectively, and who will be tasked with driving the division's growth and guiding clients in implementing effective IOH programs.

The launch of the new division follows Schematic's development--in collaboration with Mauriello and Hobson--of an interactive, multi-user, high-definition, touchscreen display called "Touchwall," that debuted in June as an information hub for the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival (see article published on itvt.com, June 18th). The display, which is 12-feet long by five-feet high, provided attendees with instant access to the complete festival program, 3D maps of the event and the surrounding area, and information on local restaurants and bars, and also allowed them to schedule meetings with one another and trade contact information over email. In order to use Touchwall, attendees had to place their conference badges against the display: the display, which is equipped with an RFID reader, then recognized individual attendees through RFID tags embedded in the badges. Once an attendee's badge had been authenticated, the Touchwall provided him or her with a "personalized workspace" on its display, from which s/he could then navigate the event and perform other tasks. According to Schematic, the Touchwall product grew out of the company's experience in gestural and touch navigation and a desire to illustrate the potential of IOH. "There's a huge and untapped potential to build brands and delight customers by creating useful and engaging experiences in public spaces," Schematic CEO, Trevor Kaufman, said in a prepared statement. "Eric and Josiah are two of the most distinguished names in the category and we are extremely pleased to add them to our team. Their addition allows us to offer our clients access to the best thinking in the industry when it comes to developing and implementing successful interactive out-of-home programs."

Mauriello and Hobson previously worked at interactive agency, Operand, where, according to Schematic, they developed interactive experiences for, among others, Levi's, Cisco, Mercedes-Benz, Ralph Lauren, the New York Historical Society, the National Constitution Center, the Smithsonian, and the Franklin Institute. Their first projects at Schematic Touch, Schematic says, will include "the launch of a multi-location, intelligent multi-touch kiosk initiative for a major retailer; a redesigned business center experience for a global B2B client; and an immersive interactive experience for one of the country's most prestigious museums." "Most agencies are still in the horse and buggy stage when it comes to fully grasping the huge marketing value that can be derived from the creation of fun and engaging interactive experiences," Mauriello said in a prepared statement. "Schematic has shown an impressive understanding of this world of opportunities beyond digital billboards and passive programming, and both Josiah and I look forward to helping grow the firm's capabilities in this exciting market."

As a "pioneering Microsoft Global Agency Partner," Schematic says, it was the first partner agency to receive a Surface table in order to train teams on the new technology. It also partnered with Microsoft to launch Silverlight 2 in 2008 for NBCOlympics.com. The company says that, "in light of upcoming Microsoft product launches, including Windows 7," Mauriello and Hobson will work closely with teams at Microsoft to leverage their latest technologies for interactive experiences in public spaces.

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