introducing Alphalabs

Adventures

As part of the Nokia Lumia 800 launch, Wieden + Kennedy, Nokia and onedotzero collaborated to create alphalabs.cc, an experiment that merges technology and the arts.

This project started with the objective of getting Nokia’s new Windows Phone devices into the hands of developers. In the light of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, the mix of existing and potential developers for the new platform proved to be diverse, which created an exciting opportunity. Rather than simply sending the phones out to people, we identified one thing that we could help to encourage: creativity.

As an agency, creativity is what we stand for, and creative coding is something that we believe in and aspire to. So our goal became to create an initiative in which Nokia and Microsoft combine forces with the digital arts organisation onedotzero to encourage creative coding on their platform. The ingredients so far are a great new device, the potential in the Windows Phone 7 APIs, an inspiring setting, some amazing examples created by inspiring people, a website to showcase creative explorations, and an event and a competition to launch it.

So on Saturday 26th November we invited a selection of hand-picked artists and developers to attend the launch event at the onedotzero_adventures in motion festival at London’s BFI.

Screen shot 2011-12-08 at 12.17.52
The event kicked off with Keith Varty, Head of EDX, Nokia UK/EIRE and Will Coleman, Mobile Product Manager at Microsoft UK, who introduced the new Nokia Lumia 800 and talked about why they were excited by the new possibilities that the partnership created. Will Coleman then led the crowd through the exciting creative, design, and technical opportunities that the combination of the Nokia Lumia 800 handset and the WP7 platform has created.

Shane Walter, co-founder of onedotzero, gave an inspirational talk about code as a medium for creativity, and showcased some exciting examples of this in practice. In order to highlight the diversity within the audience he asked everyone in the room to introduce themselves to the person next to them – everyone got carried away chatting to each other, which in turn demonstrated the interesting potential collaborations in the room.

Shane then introduced three experiments that had been created by selected teams of artists and developers for the purpose of inspiring the audience with real working demonstrations. The work showcases the creative possibilities of the platform and the phone, and was impressively developed in just two weeks.

First, Stuart Warren-Hill and Team Holotronica showcased Vequencer, the world’s first real time, multi-device audio visual sequencer. Stuart is one half of the ground breaking act Hexstatic who specialise in audio and visual experiences. He collaborated with a team of developers;  Martin Caine, Simon Jackson and Matt Lacey, who are all part of the WP7 and XNA user groups and had worked day and night to create this impressive app.

Next, Max Hattler – a progressive moving image artist from London who worked with IndieSkies, an exciting young games development start up based in Derby, to create Kaleidobooth. Kaleidobooth is a kaleidoscopic camera inspired by children's toys and psychedelia. It uses the Lumia 800’s 8MP camera and microphone, as well as the Motion API to enable the user to create and interact with the visuals.

Kaleidobooth

The last demo was Redshift, created by leading digital design studio Field.io and developers Treehouse Dev. Redshift is a prototype for a racing game through music videos. Although in its early stages, this demo is a visually stunning experience supported by a brilliant soundtrack from record label Numbers.

These experiments clearly demonstrated the exciting possibilities of the platform and how quickly experiments can be created.

To finish the day, Shane introduced the launch competition for alphalabs.cc, which is designed to encourage artists and developers with cash prize incentives to share the experimental apps that they create on the WP7 platform. Ten runners up will each win  £500, while the winner will receive £5000.

After the event all attendees were given their free Nokia Lumia 800 as well as a complimentary pass to one of the onedotzero_adventures in motion festival screenings which went on through into the evening.

The competition is open for submissions until 09.01.2012, and will be judged by representatives of Nokia and onedotzero.

In order to enter the competition, entrants simply document their experiments, and submit them to alphalabs.cc after creating a profile in the site. The judges will be looking for prototypes and poof-of-concepts that demonstrate a creative use of the platform. This is about new ideas and experimentation and not necessarily fully finished apps.

For more information and updates on the competition please visit alphalabs.cc.

Phone camps

Attention, sesquipedalianists! W+K launches mobile game for you.

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We have created Lexicon Devil for Nokia – a simple, fun and addictive word game that you can play on your Windows phone. The goal is to make the longest word with the eight letter tiles given to you at random. You play against up to 20 other people online. The player with the longest word in the shortest amount of time wins the game. Demonstrate the supremacy of your prodigious vocabulary with expeditiously polysyllabic solutions.

How the gane works:

•    Simply drag the letters into the tray to create a word.
•    Make the word as long as possible and as quickly as you can.
•    You compete against other players online in real time.
•    Check your stats to see how you’re doing, what your longest word ever was, how many games you have played and what your average letter count is.

The app has been developed for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) or higher.

It's available now for free download at the Windows Phone marketplace.

some examples of our recent work for Nokia

Last week we announced the decision to part company with Nokia after four years of working together. Here’s a small selection from the work we’ve done for them recently – these examples are all from the work done to support the launch of the Nokia N8 smartphone.

The world’s smallest stop frame animation:

The world’s largest stop frame animation:

Chromeo make the world’s shortest album to promote our ‘Own Voice ‘ app for Nokia.

The Own Voice app itself.

Gary Waite, a blind photographer, explores Blackpool with a Nokia N8 in this spot for Nokia UK.

Poodle Loop is a film we made to promote the Nokia ‘Loop’ music app we developed.

And here’s a demo of how the app works:

And this case history video summarises the whole N8 campaign.

how we made the world’s largest stop motion animation

GULP

'Making of' videos are all the rage at the moment and, as Adam Buxton points out in his ‘Ro.Me Behind the Scenes’ parody, they can be a little over the top. 

On the other hand, they can really add to an experience and give the viewer an idea of how much effort and craft it takes to make an idea become a reality. This is the case with Gulp, the word’s largest stop motion animation, which was shot entirely on a Nokia N8.

‘Gulp, the making of’ shows how much hard work went into shooting an 11,000sq ft. animation on a mobile phone, away from the controlled environment of the studio. No small feat.

A massive thanks goes to Nokia, Aardman, Sumo Science, Sand In Your Eye, Nico and Wrack @ W+K and all the volunteers who helped out. We hope you’re as proud of Gulp as we are.

Gulp. The making of. from Nokia HD on Vimeo.

gulp! W+K creates world’s largest stop frame animation for nokia

Gulp. The world’s largest stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8. from Nokia HD on Vimeo.

‘Gulp’ is a short film created by Wieden + Kennedy with Sumo Science at Aardman, depicting a fisherman going about his daily catch. Shot on location at Pendine Beach in South Wales, every frame of this stop-motion animation was shot using a Nokia N8, with its 12 megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics. The film has broken a world record for the ‘largest stop-motion animation set’, with the largest scene stretching over 11,000 square feet. More info here.

And here’s an article about it from today’s Metro.

Metro Gulp 3 August 2011 2

Nokia Gulp – another world record

Over the last few months the wieden + kennedy Nokia team has been working on something big – really big. So big in fact that it is world record breaking.

Over the last few months the wieden + kennedy Nokia team has been working on something big – really big. So big in fact that it is world record breaking.

Over the last few months the wieden + kennedy Nokia team has been working on something big – really big. So big in fact that it is world record breaking. 

Allow us to introduce Gulp, a stop-motion animation filmed on the largest ever stop-motion animation set.

Our most recent collaboration with Aardman, Gulp is the follow-up to last year’s record-breakingly small Dot

 

 

To give you an idea of scale, Gulp was filmed on a beach, with a crane and at its widest point spanned 46 meters (the width of a football pitch).

 

The Making of Gulp 6 

The Making of Gulp 2 

The Making of Gulp 1 compressed 
The Making of Gulp 3 compressed 
Filmed entirely on the Nokia N8’s 12 megapixel camera, Gulp shows how far technology can go when you are willing to innovate, adapt and play with it.

Gulp will be with us very soon but for the time being take a look at the teaser videos that have been released this week.

Focusing on individual elements of the shoot, the teasers give you an insight into the amount of craft and effort that is needed to make each frame come to life.

To keep up to date with everything Gulp, follow #NokiaGulp on Twitter.

Enjoy.

The Nokia Team

Teaser 1 – Principal sand artist Jamie Wardley talks sand drawings

Teaser 2 – Human animation puppet Todd talks pixellation

Teaser 3 – Shooting on N8s

 

think pink

Nokia-n8-dolls

Adweek's ad of the day is our Nokia N8 'Pink' extravaganza. Here's what their Emma Bazilian has to say:

Wieden + Kennedy London brought in director David Wilson to create a promo for Nokia's N8 phone, featuring dolls dancing to girl group Sugababes' song "Freedom." Wilson has had ample experience with high-concept music videos for bands like the Japanese Popstars, and it shows: The Nokia spot is a lot less Barbie than it is Lady Gaga.

As the video opens, we're introduced a harmless-looking doll with a cute blond flip. A few seconds later, the video cuts to a second doll, and things are clearly getting darker: This one is standing naked in a dilapidated room, covered in an eerily blowing white sheet. Next there's a pop-star-meets-Lady-Godiva doll reclining provocatively on a pink deer (also naked, which seems to be a theme), and then our first doll again, who suddenly snaps her head around 180 degrees, Exorcist-style, as a thumping bass begins. At this point, it's clear this isn't your typical girly-girl affair, pink phone or not. Jump cuts take us from shot to shot of giant video-monitor-covered walls, Nokia-tattooed plastic skin, and dismembered doll legs—all slightly twisted and very sexually charged*, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that these stars are really children's toys. The dance sequences, for which Wieden hired actual choreographers, could give most pop stars a run for their money. In one particularly Gaga-esque bit, a trio of gyrating dolls shoot laser beams from their bras, which happen to be made of N8 phones held together with phone cord—perhaps an homage to the Queen of Pop's own pioneering of phone-chic in her "Telephone" video. The spot might not give us anything we haven't seen in a Lady Gaga video (even the music isn't far off), but it manages to capture the same dark yet fiercely feminine aesthetic that her work conveys. And for a mobile-phone ad starring a bunch of plastic toys, that's impressive.

*'Slightly twisted and very sexually charged'. That's our team Alex and Oli for you. 

NB: Absolutely no intention on our part to do anything resembling the work of Lady Gaga or any other specific female pop star.

 

two people, two Nokia E7s and a campervan

Screen shot 2011-05-12 at 17.45.07

To support the recent launch of the Nokia E7 in the UK and build upon the current ‘Success Is What You Make It’  campaign we’ve set Carrie and Clare from the Scottish craft store ‘Made In the Shade’ a challenge to demonstrate the phone’s on-the-go capabilities.

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Armed only with their E7s and their van ‘Winston’, the girls have just seven days to open a shop. Not just any shop. A shop full of British-made things from all over the UK. And all those things need to be sourced, in person, by driving from the Outer Hebrides, all the way down to the shop location in London in 7 days.

No easy task.

We’ll be posting films like this one below each day on Facebook to see what they’ve been up to. You can follow the girls’ progress on twitter and also read their daily blog. The TV ad is on air from 23rd May.

 

 

The shop is open for one day only next Sunday from 10am – 7pm just round the corner from WK London at Dray Walk Gallery, E1. You’ll be able to buy any of the unique and eccentric crafts and delicacies unearthed this week on the road.