In close partnership with clients and agencies we conceptualize, prototype and build custom experiences and products.

  • We love radio and the NPO. Which is the only non-commercial broadcaster in the Netherlands with amazing content. For a long time we wanted to experiment with the future of radio so using the publicly available content of the NPO was the perfect combination. Adding a couple of weeks of development and we realised this prototype. Putting radio and the back catalogue of all music shows together in one optimised experience. It is important to note this version of the radio app is aimed to offer the best (popular) music experience, and therefore does not include current events like news or sports or the long tail content like podcasts.

    Regular radio is a monologue, which is no longer what users expect.

    We came up with an app that holds all of NPO's channels as live stations. When you open the app you are asked to log in to Spotify in order to play full-length songs, or you can skip to listen to 30 second previews. You are then presented with an overview of all channels and one additional channel on top called "saved tracks". This is for every song you like and store while listening. If you click on a channel it starts playing the live broadcast, but you can also choose to go to shows. Shows is a back catalogue of all the shows that have been playing and of these shows automatically the playlists have been generated. Regardless of whether you're listening to the live broadcast or to an older show's playlist, you can always add the current playing song to your "saved tracks" (with the +). This a very simple function, but extremely useful.


    For this app we used the Spotify SDK which beautifully supports the full integrated use of their catalogue. The Spotify integration is two ways. We use the catalogue for the playback within the app, but we also create your personal playlist within your Spotify account. This means that wherever you are, you can open Spotify and listen to the tracks you've saved. As a nice bonus, the playlist called "My radio - saved tracks" is at the top your Spotify, so every time you open Spotify you're reminded subtly of the existence of Radio app.

    CMS / FEED
    Especially for this app we build a Content Management System which gathers all metadata of all the NPO's radio channels, which information is publicily available. Shazam-like functionality was added to supplement any missing metadata, such as the song and artist name, necessary to find songs in the Spotify catalogue. With this metadata we search through Spotify and find the matching song and through this create a feed which is then fed to the app in order to display the auto-generated playlists of all shows.

    For every song that doesn't provide the right metadata, we tested a Shazam-like audio fingerprinting technology to help out. By using this technology we can achieve a hit-rate of 95% on the popular channels.

    By knowing all the Spotify IDs we can auto-generate playlists of the shows on air. This creates a back catalogue without any effort, which is easily accessible without the spoken pieces by the DJs in between the songs.

    One of the ideas that we haven't implemented - only tested roughly - is the recommendation of songs, shows, and artists of the NPO content wide. This is a logical next step, but falls outside of the scope of the prototype-experience we wanted to build.


    Next Empire has a great relationship with Sonos. Through this we have gotten official access to their private APIs. We can use this to push any stream from any source directly from our custom app to the Sonos system in people's houses. Meaning that the listen experience is no longer exclusive to either the Sonos app or the Spotify app. In addition, we implemented easy streaming through Apple's Airplay protocol and Android's Chromecast.

    We concepted, designed and build a fully working iOS prototype of this app. Complete amongst others with a custom CMS, audio fingerprinting, wireless playback integration and a new design with two radio experiences: LIVE and past shows.

    RADIO prototype

    We concepted and build a prototype for the radio app of now.

    None / 2017

  • Renew football-supply to match demand

    Over the years, the popularity of swimming, indoor sports and field sports decreased. Although, more stable than other field or team sports, the same holds for football. Market research shows that it’s not the love for the game that vanishes over time. It is much more the case that the traditional supply of football in the Netherlands doesn’t match the changing preferences of people preferring to play sports individually, based on their own schedule.

    The Dutch football-landscape is uniquely organised with over 3.000 football-clubs, bringing together over 1.000.000 football players (male and female) every weekend. But the structure also inhabits a number of rigid features in the way it is distributed and organised - yearly memberships (as opposed to pay-per-plays), weekend leagues (as opposed to working day leagues), old-fashioned facilities and service-models and traditional (official) football forms and games.

    Sprint to first prototype

    In a five-day-sprint with the core members of KNVB’s marketing and football operations. We moved quickly from user research through wireframes, design and development to a testable mock-up and prototype.

    The process resulted in a new and flexible alternative for the football players in the Netherlands. A concept that let’s you choose when, where and in what form you want to practice your favourite sport in close partnership with existing, local football clubs. We introduced playing football according to the model of a gym, powered by self-educated trainers and premium football necessities. Still working with the original name of the project ("Free Football Players”).

    In a subsequent two-day-sprint we developed the first directions for marketing, branding and positioning of they concept. Eventually renaming it to kicks.


    Launch in Utrecht en Amsterdam

    Based on the two sprints we designed and developed a first version of the platform of kicks. Showcasing the new forms of supply (individual trainings and small 6-weekly leagues for both men and women), enabling football lovers to smoothly pick and book their personal, weekly football moment. Focusing on the city of Utrecht first. In the mean time, the KNVB partnered with local football-clubs in Utrecht, recruited and educated dedicated kicks football trainers.

    Founded on the learnings in Utrecht we expanded our reach to Amsterdam, while at the same time strongly optimising the onboarding of users, the booking process and contents of our offerings (on the pitch). Moreover, we made the decision to increase focus on the individual propositions (instead of team propositions) - and to start building our growth-engine around local clubs.


    First results

    Currently kicks offers individual trainings on 4-5 locations (clubs) in Utrecht and 4-5 in Amsterdam. Users are actually and repeatedly paying for kicks and approximately 60% of the users return for more. Meanwhile, we’re continuously optimising the onboarding and activation of users. Next steps include the introduction of on-pitch and online gamification features for the users and the roll-out of a more diversified portfolio of individual offerings.

    kicks - playing football on-demand.

    visit playkicks.nl


    For the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) we conceived, designed and developed kicks. A concept that gives the true football lover a new, flexible opportunity to play football. High-quality. On-demand. Around the corner.

    KNVB / 2017

  • Together with Woodwork and Antfood we released a fan based, interactive Augmented Reality app, inspired on sci-fi series Stranger Things Season 2. Being such big fans we decided to team up and create this inter-dimensional portal AR experience: The Arcade AR. This inter-dimensional portal is built using Apple’s new ARkit, 3D sound and interactive thunder. The app allows users to walk into and experience another world and can be downloaded from the App Store.

    Download the app for iOS here


    We combined our love for the series with the opportunities offered by the recent release of the Apple ARkit. One of the most conceptually compelling applications of Apple’s ARkit is the so called ‘portal experience’, in which users are able to step into another world. In Stranger Things the alternate reality of The Upside Down world plays an important role, which meant it lends itself extremely well for a portal experience.


    To further improve the experience compared to existing inter-dimensional portals built using the ARkit, we have pushed the envelope in terms of the quality of the visuals, quality of the sound design, use of binaural audio and the level of interactivity. All these elements, combined with the level of detail, love and attention the studios put into its creation, make The ARcade a unique app. As a user you literally get to open The Upside Down world whenever and wherever you are.

    Antfood: “We incorporated tape-delay effect, comb filters, foley and range of vintage and modular synthesizers to create the soundscape of ‘The ARcade’. First we composed a couple layers of spooky ambience by patching a Eurorack modular synthesizers and used the classics Prophet 6 and MS-20 for musical gestures. We then recorded a variety of Foley sounds design, from 8 bit early video games to pitched down screams to enhance the visuals”.

    The Arcade AR

    A fan based, interactive Augmented Reality experience, inspired by the retro sci-fi series Stranger Things Season 2.

    Self-initiated / 2017

  • From early on in the project we were asked to help out by our friends from Anomaly. Trying to facilitate front-runner technology for their crazy idea. Once the idea was clear we got to work to get the first commercials ever in the Netherlands on TV. See here the video that Bright TV shot.

    Proof of the pudding

    So we’ve all seen normal commercials. Shot and edited before going on TV. A century old craft which is quite clear cut with review moments with the client, post-production, grading, sound fx, the whole shebang. However Anomaly thought it would be a good idea to go LIVE on TV. To proof that the T-Mobile network actually is the best. Something that hasn’t been done before in the Netherlands. At Next Empire we thought this could be fun and started researching what the architecture needed to be. In the meantime Anomaly convinced the client T-Mobile to actually go ahead with this daring plan. Showing the quality of your 4G network LIVE on TV, where the whole world could see if it failed. Luckily it didn’t.

    The technicals

    For this specific job we needed to set up cloud servers to receive the video-streams that were shot throughout the Netherlands with various iPhones 7 plusses. These streams would then flow through to the switching room in Hilversum where we had setup Johan Kramer (Halal) in a fully prepared switching room. Here we had 4 live streams coming in from which Johan could choose. We kept in touch with each location via special forks that connected from one point in Hilversum to all four locations simultaneously. And so it happened. See below the first sketches of the architecture we setup for the project.


    Facebook Live stream

    Meanwhile we also set up a Facebook livestream that needed to be up for 4 hours. Via our own servers we intercepted the live stream and made sure it could never go down. Because otherwise you would maybe miss part of the most exciting race ever. A snailrace. The slowest race on the fastest network. See video, enjoy!


    T-Mobile 4G Live Commercials

    In April 2017 the Netherlands witnessed the first LIVE commercials on TV ever. Directly broadcasted in the commercial slots. To proof the quality and bandwidth of the 4G Unlimited Network of T-Mobile. Next Empire was responsible for all the streaming and broadcasting technology.

    Anomaly - T-Mobile / 2017

  • So welcome to the relaunch of the beloved iOS app! 22tracks still focuses on presenting the best undiscovered and underground music in 12 different music styles. This way you can easily find new gems and boost your Discover Weekly and Release Radar algorithms at the same time. We built this new version on the Spotify database. (You'll need a premium account to access the 22tracks app).

    iOS: app here
    Android: app here


    The fastest way to discover new music, just one tap away. Save your favourite findings in a My22 playlist which is directly synched with your Spotify account.

    Happy discovery!


    Next Empire and 22tracks are friends. We have a long standing appreciation for the quality and dedication with which 22tracks keeps on bringing the freshest music. A couple of months ago we started talking and this beautiful app came out!

    22tracks / 2017

  • Seeing the worldwide political developments we thought it be good to create Duco. A chatbot that lives on Facebook Messenger that guides you through all the content of the NPO.


    Since the NPO has an overload of quality content being produced every day, the editorial side of Duco was not to be underestimated. Duco were to become your guide though the vast sea of political items, audio and tv.

    Target Audience

    With Duco we targeted the millenials. The group that lives and breaths on Facebook and more importantly that uses Facebook as their primary source of news. Duco helps you by showing the latest polls, who’s front running each party, the latest ins and outs of the politicians, and more. And finally also helps you navigate to the nearest polling station.

    Artificial Intelligence

    In an attempt to make Duco smarter we hooked up an AI to help Duco understand more. However even with some tweaking the Dutch language is still hard to fully understand. But hey first steps were made.

    Fuzzy Matching

    To make sure the bot understands as much as possible we used fuzzy matching. Simply put if “stemlokaal” is a command, now Duco also understands “stmlkaal” for instance. Chatbots are easily perceived as too dumb and quickly become frustrating to the user. So fuzzy matching is a small step to tackle that frustration.

    Special features

    Most chatbots like that of Jinek, NOS, Quartz are nice, but they stick to the paradigm of a conversation. If you explore the potential of chatbots you can take the functionality a step further. We added three exciting features new to chatbots.

    1 - Guide
    With the listing of all daily content on the TV and Radio we created the option to set alarms for the shows you wanted to see. 15 minutes before the show starts Duco then “alarms” you by sending you a message. In other words we use the chatbot platform for push notifications of sorts.

    2 - Daily polls
    By hooking up an AI we automated that the daily polls were always up to date.

    3 - Voting booths
    We programmed Duco to use a list of all the voting booths in the Netherlands. If a user would ask “voting booth” Duco would ask for your location – automated of course – and based on that location Duco would give you the nearest three locations to vote. If you then click the location closest or most convenient Duco would open Google Maps for you with the quickest route to the voting booth.

    NPO Chatbot DUCO

    With the upcoming elections being of extra importance to the Netherlands we decided to pitch an idea to the NPO of a chatbot that helps you sort out all the content surrounding the elections at the NPO. Ultimately helping you to make the best decision once you're in the booth.

    NPO - Dutch Public Broadcasters / 2017

  • joepapp

    Classical meets Digital

    The music video of the song Sleeping Lotus is the result of something called a neural network. A neural network is basically an algorithm. This specific algorithm looks at paintings and tries to extract the characteristics of the specific style. In this case an impressionistic style of painting. After the neural network has extracted this style you can get it to “paint” pictures in this specific style. So by then ‘feeding’ the network the ‘Sleeping Lotus’ video frame by frame, the network tries to replicate what it knows about painting.

    Experience the video by downloading the app: bit.ly/SleepingLotus


    Above is a comparison of an example frame showing the effect of the neural network.

    About Joep Beving

    Dutch composer and pianist Joep Beving self-released his debut album ‘Solipsism’ in 2015. The title refers to the philosophical idea that reality only exists in one’s mind. Beving’s music is an experiment in existential communication, a hopeful belief in an absolute aesthetic, to prove that a universal and metaphysical reality does exist.

    The sight of his daughter sleeping was the inspiration to the song ‘Sleeping Lotus’, thinking about all the wonderful and sad things that life will present her with.


    We combined various techniques for this virtual experience. First we shot a 360 video, then tracked and animated the cubes to float around in the video. Once finalized we replicated each frame of the video with the use of the neural network. All coming together in a native app with our own 360 OpenGL player, both used for fullscreen and Cardboard view.

    Joep Beving – Sleeping Lotus

    We designed and developed an immersive virtual experience with the help of a neural network.

    Joep Beving / 2017

  • the-transmigration-of-morton-f1900x900

    Over the years, classical art forms such as opera and ballet have been struggling to keep the attention of the younger generation. Media consumption has become more volatile, resulting in a growing need to innovate both form and tradition. We were very excited to actually bring this to life, while working alongside opera director Sjaron Minailo and film maker Ruben van Leer.

    Proof of Concept

    We first had to assess to what extent an interactive, browser-based opera experience was feasible from a technological perspective. By creating an interactive 360º WebGL player with advanced progressive video playback, multiple separate audio tracks and real-time green screening, we proved this could all run smoothly on a standard computer.

    Shooting 360 with a new rig

    We used a new type of rig for this shoot, achieving a higher quality video than a common GoPro setup could, without it being as data heavy as a RED rig. The rig consisting of Sony A7s was modelled for a previous project and could now finally be put to test. We also imported a VR Gimbal drone cart from the UK – the first of its kind in the Netherlands – as to create ultra-smooth riding shots.


    Putting it all together

    Once the material was stitched, the project started coming together. We combined our 360º WebGL environment with a 2D player, added the audio, and implemented object tracking to create collectable, interactive bones in the videos.

    Visit the project on mortonf.net

    The transmigration of Morton F

    In this digital opera the protagonist is legendary vocal artist Joan La Barbara, who is played by the artist herself. While visiting Amsterdam she finds herself caught up in a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious character she believes to be the reincarnation of Morton Feldman, an iconic composer she had worked with in the past. As La Barbara’s surreal dream world unravels, the viewers are invited on a journey to explore the infinite paths of Spiegel’s and Feldman’s compositions.

    The Transmigration of Morton F.

    Working together with opera director Sjaron Minailo and film maker Ruben van Leer, we conceptualized and developed an interactive online opera for the Holland Festival.


  • In the summer of 2015 we were approached by Daniel Disselkoen and Roen Roomberg to help realise an idea they had. After getting all the details in place we started production. Finding an escalator we could take apart and modify, building a custom 3 and a half meters high aluminium wheel of fortune and getting the realtime 12 camera crew in place.


    The big idea was to awaken people out of their daily slumber whilst in transit. Taking the colours of the various flavours of Sourcy Vitaminwater we powder-coated all stairs in those colours. Same with the custom wheel of fortune and the mechanics were as follows. When an unsuspecting passer by got on the escalator the would unknowingly choose a colour. At the moment this happened the wheel would get a spin outdoor but only a few meters from the actual escalator. On a big screen hung above the escalator Eddy Zoey (the host) would speak to the passer by, surprising them with his direct attention. If someone was on the same colour as the wheel of fortune they would win a prize once they came of the escalator. Sounds simple enough. =)

    Escalator & Wheel of Fortune

    One of the biggest challenges in this production was getting an escalator owner to allow us to modify their stairs. The trick we used was finding an extra set of escalator stairs, professionally powder-coating them and then replacing all stairs in 1 night so the escalator doesn’t miss a beat of its public function of transporting 10k plus people a day.

    For the wheel of fortune we build it to the max size still transportable on a normal car. We programmed the wheel to run it’s lights depending on the speed of the wheel and displaying various pre-sets to entertain the spectators.

    Shoot day

    On the actual shoot we had perfect weather, a great host and all came together perfectly. We shot over 50 people winning prizes and handed out more then 300 brightly coloured gifts.


    The film that we edited from this day received over 10 million social views on Youtube and FB combined.

    Hong Kong

    The grand prize was a trip to Hong Kong and a little bit of help on spreading the Sourcy Vitaminwater colours with us.

    Sourcy Vitaminwater

    For Sourcy Vitaminwater we modified an escalator and build and programmed a custom aluminum wheel of fortune to play a game with the unsuspecting passers by.

    Sourcy Vitaminwater / 2015

  • In the summer of 2015 we were approached by Coca Cola & the Efteling, they had seen our previous zoetrope Octomadness. Coca Cola was interested in a beautiful object in the Efteling that would have an authentic Efteling feel to it. So then we got to work.


    Mid 2015 we started with our first talks with both Coca Cola and the Efteling. Both have very strong identities and we were set on bringing our own flavor in it as well, so this was quite the challenge. Klaas Harm de Boer – the animator / director of the project – had his job cut out for him. The leading identity was that of the Efteling, with their iconic designer Anton Pieck. Working very closely with the talented design team of the Efteling Klaas Harm designed the zoetrope character for character.



    On June first 2016 we finally launched the zoetrope! When the we revealed the curtains, immediately fans starting sharing pictures and clips. If you’d like to go and see the installation is at Station Oost in de Efteling, enjoy!


    Efteling Zoetrope

    We designed and build a custom zoetrope for the biggest theme park in the Netherland’s the Efteling, partly commissioned by Coca Cola.

    Efteling / Coca Cola / 2015 - 2016

  • Having found the perfect data set of all the voting booths in the Netherlands, we couldnt let it lie around and do nothing. So with the simplest - often the best - of ideas we executed this little website in half a day. To be honest also some hours during night time to get it up and running before the voting booths would open. =)


    Open Data

    Open State Foundation is former HackdeOverheid – which was co-founded by Vincent Lindeboom also founder of Next Empire – arranged a verified open data-set of all the locations of the voting booths in NL. If only more datasets would be openly available...

    Where do I vote?

    A day before the elections we ran into a nice data set of all voting booths in the Netherlands. So we made waarstemik.nl. A one click website to get a direct route to the closest voting booth wherever you are!

    None / 2017

  • To strengthen the relationship between 3FM and the major Dutch music festivals and its audiences, Next Empire created a concept called Festival Diary. We designed an app that enables visitors of music festivals to discover, collect, share and relive their finest music moments.



    We started by developing a beta-version of the concept, which mainly focussed on reliving the festival experience. While being at the festival, users automatically build a diary based on their specific concert route (through tracking via GPS and iBeacons). After the festival, they receive a diary, consisting of pictures, unique festival content (supplied by 3FM and 3voor12) and a personal Spotify playlist. The Festival Diary app aired on 13 major Dutch music festivals in 2015.


    Improved experience

    Based on the 2015 user feedback, we have further extended the in-app experience from after the festival, to also include before and during the festival.

    The renewed app lets users easily discover the festival line-up based on their personal music taste (derived from Facebook likes and Spotify favourites) and metadata from Last.fm. It allows them to compile a festival programme in advance, create and share a personal Spotify playlist, and optimize their preferences. The programme serves as a guide throughout the festival. The app’s amplified Facebook integration - before and during the festival - enables users to see where friends are going and what their programme looks like. We have also integrated photos and ratings (of performances) within the app, creating a 100% personal user experience.


    Festival Features

    At the other end of the experience, festivals are able to use the concept as a platform to reach out to new and existing audiences. The custom CMS lets festivals design their own festival within the app, enables them to reach out to their visitors (through push notifications) and delivers live user feedback of the concerts at the festival. The same goes for 3FM, enabling them to strengthen the connection with both festival visitors and festival organizers.

    The Festival Diary app aired on 75 major Dutch music festivals in 2016


    For this concept we built native apps (iOS and Android), as well as a custom CMS, including a tailor-made iBeacon management system. During this process we gained a solid understanding of iBeacon and GPS trackers optimization, both in terms of accuracy and battery life.

    3FM Festival Diary

    For 3FM the largest public radio station in the Netherland’s we designed and developed a personal festival concept for all major Dutch music festivals.

    3FM / 2014-2016

  • We were approached some time ago by a friend, Nalden. He nudged us to see if we were interested in working wiht Gilles on his new platform. Obviously we said “let's go!”.


    The team of Worldwide FM

    After having a few calls with the team of WorldWide FM we proposed to get them app-borne asap and work with them on other stuff after the apps went live. So now on the 23rd of March the apps are live and we look to to the future. Though the most important part is already solved, WorldWide FM now reaches mobile users worldwide with an app.

    Download the app:
    For android
    For iOS


    Gilles Peterson is a hero and a tastemaker. We didn't think twice when the opportunity presented itself to work together with WorldWide FM.

    Worldwide FM - Gilles Peterson / 2017

  • By designing a hackathon, we helped Liberty Global promote innovation of their products (and to see it leveraged in a new way). We gave it the name Appathon.TV. After a successful first year with an in-house event in 2014, the project expanded beyond Liberty Global walls into an open, two-day hackathon in 2015 and 2016.

    Ziggo Dome

    Last two years, approximately 80 developers got together in small teams in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam to design, build, and demo new personalized apps and games for the Liberty Global Application Platform (such as the Ziggo Horizon TV sets and the Horizon Go package deals). Developing was carried out with coding within the Metrological Application Framework, which is based on Open Standards and has a Javascript Interface.


    Experimental collaboration

    Besides Liberty Global, other highly innovative companies have also embraced hackathons. We believe they have the power to stimulate collaboration between developers, marketers and CEOs, and can create products or simply get ideas flowing outside of the conventional box.

    Over the years, we have developed and organized over 10 hackathons, featuring hackdeoverheid (Open State foundation), musichackday (attended by Spotify, Echonest, Soundcloud and Lastfm) and NPO (the Dutch National Broadcasting Corporation).

    LGI Appathon.TV

    Next Empire developed and organized a continuous series of hackathons to foster innovation for Liberty Global, world’s largest cable company. Topics ranged from personalized TV to games!

    Liberty Global / 2014-2016

  • Happy Harvest” was developed in order to foster innovation for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs . It is a virtual reality app that challenges students using the principles of design thinking (as opposed to more conventional problem-solving practices) to look at the highly dynamic future of agriculture.


    Design thinking

    Design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns and to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional. By allowing students - who are not trained as designers - to apply design thinking, we created three animated 360 degree scenarios. The students can freely look around these scenarios, each one having its own interactive element.

    Abstract future scenario’s

    The scenarios used in the Happy Harvest app portray an abstract view of an agricultural world in 2050: growing furniture (biomimicry), cultured or synthetic meat and algae as a power source. With the help of Google Cardboard, users navigate through this world by looking around. Whichever way they look things start to happen: flowers grow, algae dissolve, the washing machine starts…


    Custom apps

    The virtual reality app is used to interview students in the field of agricultural education on complex, future issues. Ultimately harvesting their ideas, dreams and visions, and merging the results to design future policy. The app has been developed for both iOS and Android.

    EZ Happy Harvest

    For this project for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs we shaped and animated a virtual reality experience (cardboard) taking people on a visual ride through the future of agriculture.

    Economische Zaken / 2015

  • For this commercial Czar wanted to do something special. Everything needed to be real. Instead of all technology coming to live in post this all needed to be programmed up front.


    For this specific job we had to program eight drones to fly in sync. See underneath one of the first tests we did as you can see the drones are controlled via a computer. We had quite some issues with getting the drones exactly synced in their fly patterns.

    Phone screens in symphony

    The Mediamarkt jingle needed to be played visually on all phones visible. For this we created a very basic interface where the directr could tap each phone he wanted to light up when playing the jingle. Underneath our first tests of this process.

    The end result

    All this and more custom technology - an iphone suit, a screen made out of 40 flat screen tv's, 40 synced laptop, etc - came together in this commercial.

    Mediamarkt - Altijd Aan!

    Okay, it may sound a little crazy: man gets trapped in Media Markt and decides he never wants to leave. But it is the foundation of a successful campaign that offers the full retail brand new perspective. To celebrate the 1st anniversary Czar asked us to help them out connecting all devices together.

    Czar / JWT / 2015

  • Klaas-Harm de Boer wanted to create highly flexible characters that could show the power and freedom of animation and 3D printing. The zoetrope Octomadness combines 3D animation, 3D printing, each piece sawed, painted and glued together. It showcased at the KLIK animation festival in Amsterdam, where many visitors had never seen anything like it.


    One of the earliest forms of animation is the zoetrope, a children's toy that, like a flipbook, provided the illusion of motion. A series of images showing slight changes to the position of the subject is attached to the inside of a cylinder, which spins around on a plate. Peering through slits in the cylinder as it spins keeps the images from blurring together, creating an image that appears to be moving.


    Custom technology

    Octomadness is made from 64 unique 3D-printed and hand-painted figures displayed on four tiers: on the top a single octopus with many more than eight tentacles, then a skateboarding goldfish-like creature, a woman with an expanding and contracting body, and finally a long-legged grey creature. Each figure has been printed in 23 so-called frames of motion. We used an Arduino and custom circuitry to program and time the installation in such a way that all the elements are synced: the music, lights, strobe lighting and spinning of the plate.

    We currently have several new zoetropes in production, including one for a client (who cannot be mentioned at this time) for one of the biggest theme parks in the Netherlands!



    Together with designer and animator Klaas-Harm de Boer we created the zoetrope Octomadness: a 3D-printed, hand-painted and custom-developed zoetrope.

    KLIK / 2014-2016

  • The Dutch telco KPN asked us to design a memorable and scalable festival experience for their music festival stand. In collaboration with creative agency La Bolleur, we built a custom bullettime rig (as first introduced to the public in the Matrix movies), allowing visitors of the KPN MusicState stand to take a so-called 180 selfie.


    iPhones instead of DSLR’s

    The rig was tailor made and consisted of 20 iPhones, instead of the more commonly used but also more expensive DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras). The iPhones were programmed to take pictures at exactly the same moment using a specifically designed iOS app.


    Custom experience

    Once in the booth, users have to enter their phone number on the controller iPad. Within seconds after taking the picture (180 selfie), the gif is then rendered and users receive it on their phone via text message. The rig showcased at four major Dutch music festivals: Pinkpop, Down The Rabbit Hole, Pitch and Lowlands.


    KPN Bullettime

    We have developed a mobile bullettime rig for the leading Dutch telecommunications provider KPN, which has been showcased at a number of major Dutch music festivals.

    KPN / 2015

  • In the ever changing environment of postal services PostNL is actively exploring new business opportunities and looking to better their service towards their clients. The digital revolution has dramatically changed the landscape in which the postal business operates. Sally simplifies and modernizes selling any item one wishes to sell in just a few simple steps. All you do is take a photo, give a brief description and upload it to your social networks, with all payment and logistical options integrated.


    Sally in a nutshell

    Share, sell, ship.
    "Our business can best be described as ‘simple social selling’. Our app enables you to sell your things online. Not in an entire web shop, but with a simple link that anybody can click on and buy your things."


    The hypothesis here is that most things are best sold to people with the same interests and likings. Most frequently these people are found in your first line of friends, or the item is shared by these friends to other walls.


    We helped PostNL fine-tune the concept and technically to bring it to life. We designed the iOS app and website, which together make the prototype. Currently, the prototype is in the hands of a small group of test users.

    PostNL - Sally

    Next Empire partnered with Dutch postal company PostNL to prototype a new product, namely Sally - an app making it easy to sell anything you own.

    PostNL / 2015-2016

  • We helped the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) reach new and younger audiences by developing a digital concept that bridges RCO’s unique sound with music styles which today’s millennials more commonly prefer.

    The iPad app named RCO meets Fink is built around a RCO performance with UK-based artist Fink. It provides an intuitive concert experience, based on a specifically designed timeline concept, allowing users to simultaneously activate different content layers.

    Traditional boundaries

    Together with RCO we developed a strategy to engage new and younger audiences outside the boundaries of their comfort zone (concert hall). This strategy is firmly based on the hypothesis that there is an implicit boundary that withholds younger crowds from entering the traditional world of classical music. This barrier exists on both a content (music style) and physical level (buying tickets for a traditional concert hall).


    Reaching younger crowds

    We first decided to reach out to the new audience digitally, which meant directly in their homes (rather than trying to get them to buy tickets for an RCO concert). Secondly, we developed an intuitive and digital concept that would provide users with a unique performance experience in their own home through activation of different content angles (perspectives, interviews, viewing angels). We finally picked a RCO performance from which a prototype could be developed. We specifically chose the yearly ‘meet-up’ of the orchestra with a non-classical artist. In this case: Fink.


    Reliving the concert

    The app we created showcases a live recording of the concert, enriched by additional interactive layers, featuring interviews with the musicians, footage of Fink band members looking back at the event, excerpts from the dress rehearsal and a 360° video on-stage recording. Users can activate these layers themselves using a unique timeline feature that plays them back fully synchronised with the concert recording.

    RCO meets Fink formed the foundation for RCO’s current online content strategy, RCO Universe.

    RCO Meets Fink

    In partnership with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra we have developed an intuitive concert experience, bridging different music styles in order to reach new and younger audiences.

    RCO / 2011-2014