Ditch the Nametag
Who’s Who app
TEDx events are independently run events organized by local groups and modeled after the TED conferences in Long Beach and Oxford. The TEDx event in Amsterdam, where frog has a studio, was the ideal site for frog to test its visual, real-time, Who’s Who application, which uploads attendee photos for view on screens inside the venue or on iPhones, enabling users to see and learn about each other, along with conference speakers and the schedule.
As official creative partner of TEDxAmsterdam, frog designed an iPhone app that assembles live attendee profiles in real time. According to Wired UK it's “a particularly smart app.“
Imagine walking into a conference where there is nary a “Hello” sticker to squint at or a hopeful pre-greeting look to avoid. Imagine a magical place where the “mixing” is already half-complete. As official creative partner of TEDxAmsterdam, frog created such a world with its “Who’s Who Application,” which assembles live attendee profiles in real time—like a speedy, select facebook. Going in to the trial, frog wasn’t sure how the playfulness and personal nature of the app would go over. The verdict: Users found it easier, more fun, and considerably less stressful to wade through a sea of people, meet like-minds, and make connections lasting beyond the event itself.
Creating a Series of Breakthrough Moments
The Who’s Who app had two outputs at TEDxAmsterdam: as an “event app” that created a visual installation at the venue and as a downloadable, web-based iPhone app. Both outputs were fed by a continuously growing photographic data stream that flowed live from two photo booths snapping full-body shots of attendees that stepped inside. In advance, frog developed software that allowed the pictures to be taken, split into three card game–like single pictures (head, body, legs), and uploaded into a database, all within a few seconds. In this database, the three picture-cards were matched with individuals’ names and the details they supplied at registration—a personal “breakthrough moment” and three key fields of interest.
On several big screens lining the foyer, and at select times on the big screen in the auditorium, attendees could see randomly created mash-ups of themselves, other attendees, and speakers. New photos were added immediately to the mash-up stream, and every 20 seconds or so, the shuffling assembled a “complete person” accompanied by a description of that person’s breakthrough moment.
Considering the conference was billed as a “theater performance” (to qualify, speeches had to have the capacity to make the audience either think, laugh, or cry), this visual app artistry entirely fit the bill.
Mash-Ups: A Whole New Way to Mingle
As a downloadable, web-based iPhone app, Who’s Who allowed iPhone users to shuffle the attendee picture cards themselves to learn about specific people. When they encountered fellow attendees with similar interests, they could identify them as “matches.” Because the database becomes quite large at such an event, frog enabled the app to browse either “all attendees,” “speakers,” or “my matches.” While browsing speakers, users could read a description of the speaker’s presentation and note the start time. Browsing “all attendees” brought up a specific person’s name, breakthrough moment, and key interest fields. To browse in “my matches,” users had to identify themselves once with their unique ID number. After that, they could mash up the photos as seen on the big screens (for fun) or focus on certain individuals. At this trial, no direct contact functionality was added, though it could become part of subsequent versions.