Tag Archives: Breakfast

Making Toys (and Other Stuff), Featuring Breakfast

11th Screen | The Interactive Out-of-Home Blog

Ah, making stuff. I love it.

I want to introduce you to Breakfast, NYC. A wonderful little agency in New York who fancies themselves as “toy makers.” And these toys are the kinds of toys that are right down the 11th Screen alley. (These are the same folks who made Nike’s talking/thinking bike, Precious.)

From their website:

It’s 2011.

We’re officially living in the future. Yes, the one you picture in your head when you combine all those images of eye-scanners and Rosie the Robot. But the reason you didn’t sit at the kitchen table this morning and get the weather from your cereal box is simply because the cereal company didn’t even know to ask. Or did they?

We’re BREAKFAST, and we spend our days wondering why a Gap store still works the same way it did 40 years ago. We’re here to help people realize it’s ok to ask for things that sound like science fiction.

Some people call what we do “the internet of things” or “web 3.0.” In our opinion those sound a bit silly. We simply think of ourselves as inventors who are trying to take all the amazingness of what can be done online and bring it into some sort of device or experience in the real world. Stores can be smarter, an ad can come in the form of a hologram you can touch and museums can be as fun as playing with Kinect.

It’s time to stop going on as though flying cars and telekinesis headsetsdon’t exist, and time to make the real world as advanced as the virtual one that’s changed our lives in a single decade. Perhaps you’ll come for a ride with us.

Cool, right?

Anyway, the toy that caught my eye last week was Instaprint – a little box that you mount on a wall to print out Instagram pictures. (If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it’s an iPhone application that applies fun filters to your photos in an instant (hence, the name.) The cool thing about this box – aside from the simple fact that it can print out loads of pictures – is that it only prints out pictures that are tagged a certain way, based on the actual location and/or event where it’s placed. And the only way it can print is through communication with your mobile phone. So, essentially, what you have is a hyper-targeted, highly personalized and social take on a photo booth. Operated entirely through mobile. Check it out:

Instaprint from BREAKFAST ny on Vimeo.

The digital signage industry is wrestling with mobile’s place in the “Out-of-Home” ecosystem. Meanwhile, you have other agencies who have absolutely no affiliation to the industry, made up of really smart and creative people, who understand mobile’s place in our real & virtual world. And how integral and powerful it can be. Regardless of any physical screen.

I don’t know about you, but one of the things that gets me up in the morning is the ability that I have each day to make “stuff.” Now, I don’t make toys like Breakfast. That’s not really the point. The point is that each day we all have the opportunity to shape and mold something in our own way. Our contribution to this wild world.

What are you making today?

A True 11th Screen Example: Nike’s Precious

Nike one-ups the Chalkbot with Precious – the bike with a brain.  This “brain,” made by Breakfast, New York is the ultimate enabling technology.  It not only merges the real-world (offline) with the virtual world (online), it actually processes data like a brain and then responds (via Twitter) accordingly. It’s pretty amazing what they’ve made.

They’ve explored an interesting angle here, one that is much more in play here vs. Chalkbot – the thing (bike) is the hero, not the person (bike rider).  (I also think it’s way cool that they’ve given a voice to Precious on the website, and taken it away (for the most part) from the rider, as you can see by the picture-only blog).  This is a great example of the potential of the things and places around us – not people or true “screens” – that can engage consumers in ways we never thought possible.  Technology is key to this. And in this specific instance, this brain technology actually enables the messaging to take on a life of its own.  These messages are not customized based on the audience, they’re customized based on the messenger, powered by all of the context leading up to each message.

For marketers this is one of those game-changing ideas and executions.  A thinking, talking bike?  A “thing” that can provide content with a more-than-decent level of context. It truly learns as it goes.  This is what gets me excited.  This is the potential that I see in this space – those who are effective (will) understand the power of merging offline (which to me, is “out-of-home”) with online to create deep, meaningful brand experiences for their consumers.