Stephen Waller
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Goertek

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Client: Goertek / Bubble Lab
Agency: Swift Creatives
Role: Co-concept, Design, Animation & Creative Direction

Bubble Lab is an innovation division of the Goertek group, initially focussed around coffee but now set to expand into other areas. At Swift Creatives, we worked with them on a number of physical products, but I was brought on board to help out with some of the more digitally focussed aspects of their projects. I’ve created a number of interfaces and animations for them; trade show presentations, pop-up shop displays and most notably an interface for a joint venture they are undertaking with Japanese ice cream manufacturer Nissei, to create fully automated ice cream dispensing machines in China.

This project, however was a little more ambitious: a mixed reality experience for Bubble Lab’s booth at CES 2019.

 
 

 

the concept

 

Bubble Lab wanted to create an eye-catching experience in their booth at CES 2019, showcasing their Drip/Drop product line by mixing some custom made chocolates that would compliment the flavours of coffee they were offering. Our London and Aarhus offices worked together to manufacture a suite of chocolate that would be recognisable by a computer equipped with Open Frameworks for machine learning capabilities.

The idea being that when a certain chocolate was placed anywhere on the table, a corresponding animation would then play around it. The eventual aim is to make this system far more sophisticated for use in coffee shops, that will allow people to match chocolate flavours to coffee types, in a unique and playful way.

 
 
 

 

concepting & TESTING

 

Playing to our Danish credentials, we wanted to create an experience that felt authentically Scandinavian. It’s a quality that is highly regarded in China, and lends what is otherwise a Chinese product a more ‘European’ flavour. Crafting a set of geometric shaped chocolates allowed us to create something suitably minimalistic, whilst also ensuring that they all were as distinct from one other to aid computer recognition.

 
 
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Inspired by traditional Danish wooden toys, we looked to develop our own elf. This ended up appearing in a few different projects in the end becoming what we called the ‘Swift Elf’.

Inspired by traditional Danish wooden toys, we looked to develop our own elf. This ended up appearing in a few different projects in the end becoming what we called the ‘Swift Elf’.

Developing the style of the monkey, and how it could ‘swing’ from tree to tree.

Developing the style of the monkey, and how it could ‘swing’ from tree to tree.

The polar bear from the ‘Mint’ animation needed to be simplistic in shape, and after a few goes at a more character based design, we stripped it back to a running polar bear shape devoid of features.

The polar bear from the ‘Mint’ animation needed to be simplistic in shape, and after a few goes at a more character based design, we stripped it back to a running polar bear shape devoid of features.

We needed the animation cycles to be as smooth as possible so we spent a bit of time working on how they would loop before putting them into their respective scenes.

We needed the animation cycles to be as smooth as possible so we spent a bit of time working on how they would loop before putting them into their respective scenes.

 

 
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We had two Creative Technologist interns, Alex and Katrin, take time out from their course at the RCA to help us figure out how to best teach the computer which chocolates were on display and project the relevant animation. Much of their work was also helping us test and develop the optimal shapes for the chocolates to make sure they were properly recognisable.

 

 
 

THE ANIMATIONS

The animations that play around the periphery of the placed chocolate and coffee cup need to be viewed from any direction, so it was important to ensure that no one angle was superior to another. We decided that create almost small contained worlds that had their own gravity meaning characters could run or rotate around their perimeter naturally.

 
 

Coconut flavoured chocolate.

For the coffee cup itself.

Mint flavoured chocolate.

Hazelnut flavoured chocolate.