Technology is transforming how we experience and interact with the world around us. And, as the lines between digital and physical continue to blur, it becomes more difficult to decipher what is truly real.
Using this brain-teaser as inspiration, we set forth to reinvent the web and create a first-ever online experience for our audiences. After much deliberation, demolition and many pounds of metal, we built a real (meaning, standing-on-top-of-our-building real!) website that delivered live-streaming content.
For one year, The New Real website weathered the elements, blending the physical and digital worlds in a way that’s never been done before. The experiment was part steel, part code and all passion.
2014 winner, FWA (Favorite Website Awards) Shortlist
Like any good website, we knew The New Real needed an awesome design. So that’s where we started. With a computer-controlled router, we milled out high-density polyethylene sheets, turning them into striking 3D sculptures that formed the site’s structure. Those sculptures were then mounted to welded steel frames with mounts for lights and cameras. After adding five high-end HD-streaming security cameras, fitted with special lenses to limit distortion, we were in business.
Next, we turned our focus to the background, knowing we had to achieve the right balance between sky and city. Angling the cameras presented a problem: if we tilted the panels to match the angle, we lost the sun and shadows; if we left them straight up, the panels looked skewed on camera. Our solve? Manufacturing panels with a built-in distortion to counteract the angle of the lens. It was mathematical magic — and it worked.
During the whole process, we took many steps forward and a few back, finding that true innovation comes with setbacks along the way. But we pushed through. Just like we always will.