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Google I/O Rube Goldberg Activation

Technical Design
Environmental Design
Unique Activation

Google I/O brings together developers, partners, programmers, students and technologists from all over the world. Considered to be one of the most influential conferences for technology developers, the event kicks off with a dynamic keynote experience that sets the tone for the 5,000 attendees (and is live streamed to over 2 million viewers). It introduces new product and platform innovations at Google, starting with an on-stage presentation from senior leadership.

Traditionally Google kicked-off their I/O Keynote session with a 30-minute countdown (for dramatic effect) displayed by a projected timer to build anticipation around what was going to happen. They came to us to innovate the countdown in an engaging way that pushed the envelope on what was possible, and to create a fully immersive sensory experience that spoke to the audience of makers, tinkerers, and developers.

12 Go-Pro cameras were strategically placed throughout the mechanical system to capture the experience at each turn. Watch the video below to get an up close view.

With 5,000 attendees traveling from the exhibition floor to the keynote room, it was important for Google to create a captivating opening that not only engrossed the audience, but gave them time to logistically move everyone into the room. Through our collaboration with world renowned Rube Goldberg engineer Brett Doar, the team designed and developed a large-scale Rube Goldberg Machine that blurred the lines between the digital and physical world, sparking attendees interest and attention while everyone filled the room. The machine spanned over 280 linear ft and began with a 10-ft tall mechanical clock, eventually feeding into the opening video.

All components of the opening were built independently and then assembled on-site. Through complex engineering solutions in custom programming, coding, and precise coordination, the contraption merged physical and on-screen digital sequences which played out live in front of five-thousand attendees.

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