Jared Ficklin (@jaredrawk) the principal technologist at Frog Design loves a good party and a chance to experiment, so he does both at the same time. That is what happens at SXSW where Jared’s skills come in handy when planning and running the Frog Design sponsored party which is as much an experiment as it is a celebration.
Jared came to FITC Toronto bearing very geeky gifts which put his technologist skills on display. He wired the first row of chairs to play a tune when a person stood up or sat down. On stage he brought his famed vortex cannon which he programmed to release smoke into the air to music. It isn’t real until you get the smoke machines going.
Jared got some Tron light cycle action going on with a battle or race between himself using a controller and an attendee on a stationary bike hooked up to the game projected on screen. It was a great example of the type of work he has done and you have to appreciate the skill involved to get a stationary bike to work in the game in real-time. Here is the video he showed about the Light Trikes project they did for the most recent SXSW.
At the 2012 Frog party, he set-up squares on the floor that would control a massive game of connect 4. I can only imagine how you would play a 50 person game of connect 4 in a room of hundreds or more especially with alcohol in the mix, but it sure looks like something you wouldn’t soon forget. Take a look at another video below to see how it all worked.
As Jared explained the behind the scenes of the SXSW Frog parties, you could see all the time and energy he and his team put into making these large scale experiences. I can only imagine what it took in terms of programming, devices, construction and staging to make the Frog party a reality. Jared said you have to be prepared for when things don’t go according to plan because they won’t by preparing contingencies and being ready to adapt on the fly.
His presentation was an experience you really had to witness first hand; it was worth it for the light cycle battle alone. I am sure many of the FITC Toronto attendees will want to be at the next frog party if only to see what Jared and Frog Design will do next in of an awesome party.