For a second year running, Scotch whiskey brand Dewar has linked up with TED to sponsor its annual technology conference TED and this year debuted its ‘Dewar’s Hub’ interactive audio visual installation.
The 2012 event, which was hosted in March in Long Beach, California, saw Dewar’s present an interactive digital installation that linked social media comment and real world TED event conversation into a ‘conscious graphic’.
TED’s own mantra is ‘Ideas that spread’, and its technology conference is dedicated to exploring new technologies to spread and share thought – so Dewar’s socially and physically interactive installation was something of a conversation starters.
The device basically created a visual timesheet for the social interactions at TED 2012 – blending thoughts, ideas, chats and comments from live attendees and cyber followers through their feeds, hashtags and conversations.
The installation immediately and continuously updated as the technology conference unfolded. Its inbuilt motion detection navigational system automatically puts tweets into a visual graph that measures interaction.
Strands of tweets connecting TED attendees built like a DNA timeline, intertwining hot topics and TED-inspired talk.
The “Dewar’s Hub” aimed to reflect the social and physical conversational truth at the event.
“It brings together all of the ideas generation from the TED talks as they happen,” explained Ronda Carnegie, Head of Global Partnerships at TED.
Interactive directors Hellicar & Lewis created The Dewar’s Hub using Open Frameworks to deliver a real time experience bridging the real world and Twitter. It works for both TED attendees and offsite Twitter users interacting with The Hub by tweeting the search term @dewarshub.
The installation responded by displaying the search term in the midst of a real time visualisation of all the Twitter activity at TED – drawing connections between keywords and tweets in real time,
As well as suing Microsft Kinect to allow real world users to ‘stir’ the visualisation.
The Hub responded to offsite Twitter users by replying to their search term tweet with a screen shot of the visualisation – creating a feedback loop between the installation and the social network.
A classic example of a sponsor creating an installation, device or platform that not only fits in with the event its is backing, but actually makes a positive contribution to it.
It was back in 2011 that Dewar’s became a partner in TED’s non-profit organisation experience and the deal not only included a branded presence at the event but also an exclusive Dewar’s presentation for 50 delegates at the brand’s own Dewar’s World Of Whiskey distillery in Aberfeldy, Scotland.
The 2012 initiative builds on the thoughtful creativity and ingenuity of its 2011 work which also saw Dewar’s signature artist Hugh MacLeod participate in the weeklong event and keep fans up-to-date through video feeds and tweets.