This little thing is just begging to get lost.

(originally published on my own site)

I think that the new Apple AirTag is a deceptively revolutionary piece of tech, especially for the experience design and creative technology world.

The ability to track an item with your phone within a foot or a few inches is an amazing feat and is made possible by Ultra Wide Band and Apple’s U1 chipset. You take an AirTag, pair it to your Apple ID and you can track it from about 50ft anywhere around you. The app pops up an arrow and a distance reading and directs you towards it. If you have…

(this is also published on my website)

You may have heard — Fake Love, the experiential agency of The New York Times, is closing down. My heart goes out to all of the other shops working in experiential who have been affected by the pandemic.

For those that don’t know, Fake Love was an award winning experiential agency founded in 2010, and I was Fake Love’s Chief Creative Technologist and have been part of the business for a long time. In short, I loved the place and our team. …

Image of the game Journey by thatgamecompany — Image Source

If you work with creative technology or experience design, I’ve got a question for you: What was the last video game you played? 🕹

If your answer is “Mario, when I was a kid” or a time-killing mobile game, I’ve got great news. The world of video games has matured quite a bit over the last decade, and there’s never been a better time to try out some new games for some fresh inspiration for experience design.

I’ve recently started thinking a lot about how influential I find gaming and video games on my own practice of creative technology as…

I got your outdoor installation right here, boss

I learned some harsh lessons about the challenges of outdoor installations years ago when I was starting out. I worked on an installation with several outdoor touchscreens that were in full sunlight for most of the day. It was going to be in the winter months and up north, and it would be up for a few weeks — what could possibly go wrong?

A few things, it turns out.

In the full light of the day, the screens that were chosen started to turn black no image, just black creeping up the display. Luckily, the black would dissipate and…

Projector calibration or the world’s biggest spreadsheet?

When you’re just starting out, getting into the professional field of creative technology can be challenging. It’s hard to find a corner of the industry that feels like it suits your interests and strengths that also allows you to make a living. The phrase “creative technologist” isn’t even standardized and can mean wildly different things between companies. Nevertheless, chances are that you see yourself as an artist who uses technology as a medium, or you’re [pardon the overused phrase] “working at the intersection of art and technology.”

In this writeup, I’d like to offer some thoughts on my time as…

Image: Book Vortex by schaduwlichtje

Spoiler — this is not a sprawling timeline article about the history of this field. It’s a writeup meant to spur discussion about why there isn’t one yet and whether we should start making something.

Historical research in the arts and tech field is really enjoyable. I’ve looked into the past for live visuals, alternative displays, and even fireworks. I sometimes wonder what it will be like for someone like myself trying to piece together the history of creative code in 50+ years. They are going to have a lot of internet to sift through. …

As in Part 1, this photo I took isn’t related to AI at all

Continued from [Part 1]

What are some challenges facing the use of AI for experiential activations?

Now that you have started to think about the potential of AI, let’s talk about some challenges facing all of the above. Don’t worry, then we’ll talk about how we might improve things moving forward so we can continue on the hype train. Choo choo.

Most of these challenges mentioned ahead will primarily look at experiential activations involving personalization, and this is likely more of a “from scratch” type of project versus AI solutions that come a bit more ready-made like image recognition and…

Generic Abstract Image for AI Article

(Additional insight for this writeup provided by Jasmin Rubinovitz and Gene Kogan. Thanks also for feedback from my coworkers!)

[Part 2 is here]

In the technology department at Fake Love, it is our job to anticipate certain trending technologies and determine how they can be applied to the type of experiential activations that we do. We’ve seen a lot of technology rise (and fall) over our time in experiential — projection mapping, Microsoft Kinect, VR, AR, drones, etc etc. …

Your Enemy.

TL;DR — You can’t. This is a serious clickbait title.

I’ve been in audio visual stuff for a while and still get requests or questions about doing outdoor projection during the day. Unfortunately, until we invent some super charged light cannon or an anti-light shadow beamer, this is not happening anytime soon.

This writeup will deal more with the hypothetical of “What it would take for an electronic light to be perceived as brighter than the sun?” This is a good time to note that I’m not a scientist — this is just a fun thought experiment. …

Good lord, my handwriting is terrible.
Headphones recommended

Song Download Link

TL;DR — I took a year to write a 4 minute song on guitar. The end.

In May 2016 I made a promise to someone to write a song within a year.

They just had to give me a title and I’d figure out the rest.

I told myself — this should be pretty easy! — and as what usually happens, it definitely was not.

Here I am in May 2017 and I just spent the last day recording what I wrote, but in this case I find the journey a little more interesting than the result. For…

Blair Neal

Art/Visuals/Music/Tech/Humans- + (previously) Chief Creative Technologist at Fake Love

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