Fresh Work: Sony PIIQ

Our partnership with Sony continues with a new launch for PIIQ - Sony's slick, new brand of headphones. The site features a multitude of finely tuned interactive details including rollover animations, subtle movements and navigational elements.

The full product lineup gives visitors huge, sexy product images, sharing tools, sweet product pairings, and the ability to add comments with Facebook integration. The PIIQ Team pages offer up inside details of new members, their gear and stats and the news section keeps fans up-to-date on all things PIIQ.

There's quite a bit of cool stuff to check out so take a look at the new Sony PIIQ and let us know what you think.

Data mining, it's not just for information scientists

There is an incredible amount of potential stored within social networks and the Internet of Things.

On projects at Odopod, we've scored site contributors based on their social activities. We've provided tools for our clients to hold conversations in Twitter and bring those conversations into their sites. We've generated countless shares and likes. And we've only begun to scratch the surface.

With the continued growth of data available to us via APIs and increasingly sophisticated open source tools, we're looking forward to more and more opportunities to skim a little data and shape it into something both fun and useful.

I recently presented some related research during a brown bag lunch discussion. Here are some highlights.

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Catch our live feed with FWAwebTV: Thursdays at 2pm PST

This Wednesday, The FWA is launching its newest project, FWAwebTV.

Basically, a huge group of renowned agencies around the world will be streaming live video from their office spaces, each for one hour at a time. The lineup includes some of our great agency friends and promises to be a pretty neat look at the agencies you love, nearly 24 hours a day.

Of course, Odopod will be there too, streaming live every Thursday at 2pm PST. There might be some excitement. There may even be danger. But mostly, you'll get a chance to take a look inside our sweet office space and catch the studio hard at work.

Ink to Bits: Tablet magazines should fret less about pricing and workflow, and dream big

Dead trees

I started my career in a building with a huge, warehouse-sized newsprint printing press. It featured a production room with pasteboard technicians, plate makers and camera operators - and was a beehive of activity everyday from 3 to 11pm. The distinct hum and vibration of the press could be felt in the body. From that single press room, over 300,000 copies of the daily newspaper were printed, cut and bundled in rapid order in the span of several hours.

For decades, publishing invariably ended with a scene like this one. Editorial meetings and ad sales led to writing, art and photography that flowed through to editing and production which fed the frantic scramble to make plates for ink on paper and finally to a multi-story behemoth that ate paper and disgorged portable, lightweight, inexpensive newspapers.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the hyperlink

In 1994, after a few years tenure as an editorial designer, I was assigned to my paper's online arm to consider how to design for the new-fangled World Wide Web, pre-Netscape. My natural first reaction was horror. The web was really ugly. Typography? None. Imagery? Barely - and only if it could be compressed into a 5k gif file. Layout? Laughable.

But something about the web was special and that something was the hyperlink. Unlike type, art and layout, which were invented for print, the hyperlink was the web's unique secret sauce. It was the fundamental idea that enabled bits to transcend ink-on-paper. For the last decade and a half, we have all been on an endless adventure powered by the hyperlink.

Today, web typography, imagery and layout have finally come along. Sophisticated visual expression has finally caught up. And along the way, the web introduced everyone to digital audio, video and the amazing possibilities of interactive media.

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For new media education, it doesn't get much better than RIT.

Last year at this time, I wrote a post entitled If you want a Job at Odopod, go to RIT.

A year later, I’m just back from my third trip to the Rochester Institute of Technology for Creativity: Careers in Motion and everything I wrote in that post still stands.

I was attending and speaking at the event. It’s a forum for students in RIT’s new media program to meet prospective employers and get feedback on their portfolios. Although it’s not billed as such, for almost everyone attending it’s a recruiting event.

The reality is that it’s a feeding frenzy.

From my perspective, it’s fascinating. Imagine a gymnasium full of representatives from the best new media companies in the world, as well as some big ad agencies and PR firms — all sitting at identical folding tables, all feverish to recruit RIT’s latest group of new media graduates. Many of these companies were making offers on the spot. Some even arrived a day early to meet with, and try to scoop the top students.

That’s because RIT is producing the best new media talent in the world.

As I described in last year’s post, the students graduate with a focus either on design or development. The program is designed to have them work both independently as well as in teams, very much as they will when they come to Odopod.

As a result, almost all the students are remarkably well rounded — many of them with abilities in both design and development. I can also tell you from past hires that the rigor and intensity of the program teaches them the value of hard work and independent initiative.

They emerge from RIT with the skills to do exceptionally well in a challenging and fast-paced company like Odopod.

My only lament is that there aren’t more of them graduating, either from RIT or other schools in the US. We need more RIT graduates and more schools producing graduates of their caliber.

The Untold Story of the Odopod Name

Thanks to a recent AdAge survey on the origins of the more unique agency names, we're finally revealing the untold story of how we came to be called, Odopod.

"When we started Odopod we wanted to create a company with the ideas and resources to execute big and the metabolism and culture to behave small," said Founder and Creative Director Tim Barber. So when it came to naming the company we combined two pieces that got at this big/small idea.

Odo -- this was Godzilla's island, the island where he had been a legend for generations and where he first came ashore. We loved the bigness and total domination of Godzilla.

And Pod [because] at the same time we liked that we were a compact team that grew ideas, like a pod -- the compact, protective enclosure of a seed. For the record, Steve Jobs stole our thunder a year later when the iPod launched."

So there you have it.

Can't make it to the store? Design your Tesla Roadster right from your desktop.

Maybe you live really close to Santana Row in San Jose. Maybe you live very far away from Santana Row in San Jose. Either way, you can now experience the Tesla Retail Store Kiosks right from your desktop.

Launched on today, the Design Studio allows site visitors to customize and configure Tesla Roadster models to buy or fantasize about buying. You can trick-out all the bits you'd expect - paint colors, accents, interior options, wheels, hood, entertainment - and check out how much your customizations will cost, all in this cross-device friendly, HTML5 interface. That means it looks just as sexy on your iPad as it does on your desktop.

From the Tesla press team:

“The Design Studio’s goal is to personalize the Tesla experience,” said George Blankenship, Tesla’s VP of Sales and Ownership Experience. “It’s the most advanced configurator any automaker has come up with, letting you choose exactly what you want, look at it from every angle, and see it in the wild.”

Tesla’s internal web team collaborated with digital marketing agency Odopod to build advanced features into the Design Studio, including:

-Seamless integration between platforms, allowing users who build their cars online to call up saved designs on other devices or in the showroom.

-Graphics that push the boundaries of realism, giving users an authentic experience.

-Single-screen editing, allowing users to mix and match features without progressing through a number of screens or needing to backtrack.

-Unique interior and exterior pairing, so that users can see how the interior of their car would look from the outside and vice versa.

-An extensible platform that will allow Model S to be added to the Design Studio.

Tesla’s Design Studio is consistent with the company’s new retail strategy that launched with the Santana Row showroom. Reinventing the car-buying experience, this strategy focuses on digital interactivity and educating prospective customers about Tesla’s advanced electric powertrain technology and vehicle engineering.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Building Interactive Modules and Progressive Enhancement is peppered with interactive modules designed to enhance the user's knowledge and appreciation of IWC's products and practices. At the heart of these interactions is a clean, smart and semantic markup, which provides a baseline experience for lowest-common-denominator browsers and feature sets, while acting as a content foundation for the richer experience supplied to modern browsers. There are a myriad of reasons for this progressive enhancement approach, and in this edition of our series on Building, we'll explore the building of some of these interactive elements.

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Using Kinect within Flash Applications

On Wednesday, Microsoft released additional information about their upcoming SDK for the Kinect. However, if you don't want to wait for that release, there are some great alternatives available already.

To better understand the potential Kinect holds for retail and other installation work at Odopod, I've been exploring different ways to integrate Kinect into Adobe Air applications. We're using Air because it allows us to quickly build prototypes and explore this exciting new technology.

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Tesla's Incredible New Store Features Touch Screen Experiences Created by Odopod

The launch of the new Tesla store at Santana Row in San Jose includes three gorgeous touch screen experiences designed and developed by Odopod with Tesla Motors. The experiences immerse visitors in Tesla owners’ stories, vehicle innovations, and enable them to configure their own Roadster for purchase or sharing with friends.

As Tesla's digital agency of record, Odopod designed the experiences to fit within Tesla’s unique retail strategy, one that rethinks the entire approach to selling cars. Odopod and Tesla continue to collaborate to produce digital experiences that augment the purchasing process and make for a remarkable experience.

An excerpt from Tesla Motors press release:

Today Tesla Motors reinvents the car buying process with the grand opening of its store in the popular Santana Row retail district of San Jose, California.

...The new store’s location ensures plenty of foot traffic while the layout engages the customer through a series of hands-on interactive touchscreen experiences:

Tesla Stories features Tesla owners’ experiences of living with a Roadster.

Tesla Innovations explore the world’s most advanced electric powertrain in the Tesla Roadster and the engineering ingenuity of Model S.

The Design Studio combines the tactile and digital, enabling customers to configure their own Roadster, which they can then share on Facebook or email to a friend. From there, customers can seamlessly complete the purchase.

...The Tesla Design Studio will also debut on Built using HTML5, the Tesla configurator provides an intuitive interface for users to design their Roadster from a computer, smart phone or iPad.


We're thrilled to have worked with such an amazing group of people at Tesla to bring the innovative retail experience to life.

For more information visit these links:
Press Release
Exclusive Tour Of Tesla's Showroom With Apple's Retail Guru

Odopod is now Nurun

We're still in San Francisco, still under the same leadership, still doing great work (here are some case studies). But now we're a lot larger. We've joined a host of Nurun offices around the globe, all part of Publicis Worldwide.

Our focus remains on helping clients succeed in a connected world with products and services that transform the consumer experience.

We continue to work with forward-thinking, longstanding clients including Tesla, Google, Sony and Audemars Piguet. More recently, we've established new relationships with Dolby, the San Francisco 49ers, GoPro, and Blu Homes.

We welcome the opportunity to work with you too.

Tim, Dave, & JT

The best way to reach us

For new business, contact Allison McCarthy

For general inquiries, contact us at

For more about Nurun, visit