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The Blu Dot “Real Good Experiment”

Client: Blu Dot

Partners: Mono, Supermarché

Blu Dot wanted to find the answer to a simple question: “What is good design?” What resulted was a provocative marketing stunt, produced by mono, involving GPS tracking of chairs as they were taken from New York City Streets and back to people’s homes. Tellart developed all of the technology, rode through New York City in the backs of vans to stalk chair takers, and acted in the brilliant film by Supermarché.

This project was a huge success for Blu Dot, garnering over 130 million media impressions worldwide. The Real Good Experiment was picked up by media outlets such as NBC News, the New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, GOOD Magazine, and Fast Company, among many others. The project was later awarded the Bronze Medal at the 57th annual Cannes Lions advertising festival, recognizing it as one of the best “Interactive Digital Solutions” of 2009.

Though this project may appear as a whimsical marketing stunt on the surface, it has also inspired interesting debate about The Internet of Things and privacy; this has been a very interesting project for Tellart to show at conferences and schools to incite discourse on how we want to live with computers now and in the near future. The characters in the short film are not actors; this is all real. Every object or bit of architecture we make is web connected and connected to the people who use them.

A phone-based GPS and battery pack were affixed to the bottom of each chair. These were woken up by a tilt switch as soon as the chair was moved from its set location.

Each chair was tracked on a map on the website and on Twitter, prompting a search frenzy among members of the public.