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Work

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

  • 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).

    22app

    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!



    Find the app here:
    iOS: http://22tr.co/iOS22-2017
    Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twotwotracks.mobile

    22tracks

    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.

    Content

    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

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    originalframe

    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.

    Technology

    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.

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    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.

    HOLLAND FESTIVAL / 2016

  • 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.

    Design

    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.

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    Launch

    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!

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    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. =)

    waar

    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.

    Balloons

    Prototyping

    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.

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    festivalstore
    mijnprogramma

    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.

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    muziektinder
    mijnprogramma

    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

    Technology

    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!”.

    worldwideapp

    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

    WORLDWIDE FM

    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.

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    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.

    AlgenTree2k

    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…

    GrowingChair2k
    MeatTable2k

    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

  • 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.

    Zoetrope

    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.

    zoetrope-1

    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!

    zoetrope-2

    Octomadness

    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.

    Overview2

    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.

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    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.

    GirlsInBooth

    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.

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    sallyapp
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    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."

    Hypothesis

    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.

    sally_web-2049_small

    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).

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    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.

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    IMG_0060

    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

  • Serious Request is an annual fundraiser event organized by 3FM (one of the Netherlands’ largest public radio stations) to collect money for Red Cross initiatives. In order to help people promote their own individual action, we created the “3FM Kom In Actie” app. This app enables users to create and share a personal video for their fundraiser.

    Video-app

    Anybody can set up their own fundraiser project for Serious Request. The main question, however, is how to promote it. To solve this problem, we developed a video app that lets individual fundraisers create a personal video that looks good, is easy to make and easy to share.

    Favourite DJ

    With the “3FM Kom In Actie” app participants create a promotional video together with their favourite 3FM DJ. The app (with the DJ as personal assistant) records the name of participants, a short description of the fundraiser and ends with a big “THANK YOU!”. After recording these short bits, the app automatically (within seconds) renders a pre-edited video featuring the participants together with their DJ of choice. The result is always very nice and perfect for sharing (15 sec. video).

    giel

    Traction

    During this event over 12.000 apps were downloaded for the promotion of 5.000 individual fundraising projects. It therefore proved to be a significant contribution to 3FM Serious Request’s raising of over 12.000.000 euro for female war victims.

    3FM Serious Request

    We crafted a personal video app for 3FM Serious Request – one of the Netherlands largest charity events.

    3FM / 2015