Marty Caplan

Game Design and Consulting

BERG on Connected Devices

I'm a fan of the London design firm BERG - they always have fascinating forward thinking ideas and experiments in consumer technology, networked objects, and more. Their Little Printer project is good fun, combining emergent network behavior with a home miniprinter to give you a little surprise every day. BERG Cloud is a picks/shovels platform for connected devices that I must try out... would love to build a bridge from it to Unity to have a truly cross platform software/firmware/hardware authoring system for connected devices. 

Anyways, a very interesting chat between GIGAOM's Katie Fehrenbacher and BERG's CEO Matt Webb. 

"I sort of regard the network as being like the next generation of electricity: it will end up hitting all products sooner or later. But we wont really think about them as being “networked products,” in the way we don’t think about things as “electrical products.” Take a sewing machine: in the old days you had to stamp or pedal it, and then sewing machines became electrified and you just plugged them in. So now people don’t buy an electric sewing machine as a part of their collection of electrical goods — they just know they don’t need to pump their foot anymore. The product is slightly better. There will be a bunch of that with connected devices…."

I heartily agree - like electricity, the network will disappear into every object around and on (and likely inside!) us. He discusses the creepy factor in these inanimate objects coming to life, which is typical of the technology adoption curve. We'll get over it, especially if there is playful interaction to be had from the swarm of connected devices that we will be swimming in.

Let me know if your company needs any help in preparing innovative entertainment products for this coming global platform!

With 13 years in the game industry and time served in theme parks, internet and film before that, Martin Caplan has done some pretty fun and weird stuff. Currently he's consulting as an Executive Producer with Transmedia SF (Connected transmedia experiences) and Neomyx (Mobile / Location games). In the past, Martin has been Executive Producer at Robot 11, creating amazing mobile connected toys. Before that, he was a Producer at BioWare / EA leading teams to create amazing next generation experiences in mobile games with AAA brands. He was Senior Producer and New Business Director at Other Ocean, pitching and running projects in the mobile/social space. At Sixense, he served as Senior Producer leading an internal dev team to create innovative gameplay for the Razer Hydra motion control hardware in a Valve game mod for Portal 2. He was previously a Producer at Sega of America for 5+ years with 18 shipped titles. He has worked in the serious games industry as a game and interface design consultant for U.S. intelligence agencies, earning Secret clearance. Finally, he founded and sold Paragon Games, a tabletop RPG game company, developing and publishing RPG books and boardgames.

Marty can be reached at d33vle at gmail dot com


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