Congratulations everybody, we have all put in a lot of good work, we won the ideas tap grant! Good times!

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November Presentation

Our Team If presentation from last night…


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Presentation order

Hello Team,

So, here’s a rough sort of order / plan we can work from. Names are rough, possibly wrong. If you’re not there, you’re not forgotten, just choose a part. Please add and change where necessary.

Team IF

Introduction (Simon)
— A joyous “Hello”
— Introduce Team If.

Brief (Simon)
— Our understanding of the brief.

— The places we looked at
— What it was like

Insight (Thomas)
“Londoners value their time”
— We’ve spotted these moments where people are losing time
— unnoticed transitory spaces
— Time neutral
— A lot of minutes get lost in all the travelling. In all the hustle and bustle.
— People try to make use of these minutes as best they can. (reading on the tube, working on the bus)
— Possibly mention Saunn Walsh and his commuter jokes.

Manifesto (Thomas)
Team If asks “what if?” and then makes joyful things happen.
— The big city is full of movement. in-between A and B there is often boredom and monotony.
— Bringing the in-between places to life
— What if these in-between places were more fun?
— Somewhere between A and B there is something great waiting to happen, while you wait.

Focus (Kirsty)
“Our goal is to fill in the lost minutes to make them surprising and fun.”
— To play with lost time in a way that makes people appreciate where they are and make the most of it.
— We like play, we think it’s important.

MOSCOW (Kirsty)
— explaining our choices
— Pick out especially important examples

Explaining The Idea / Output (Reuben) ((racecar is racecar backwards))
— Distract London (name?)
(Reuben will have his own words for this, here are random words that i’ve been writing down throughout)
— Our aim is to play with that lost time, while opening up ways of seeing the fun in the city around you.
— Games are geographically relevant.
— Like geocaching BUT virtual
— We are hacking the system and rhythms of London, turning places of waiting into places of play.
— We want to spot places with extra minutes where commuters can have fun/play.
— We will be playing with lost time.
— Adding fun in moments when people feel like they’re wasting time.
— Reuben Explaining what happens

Examples (Chris / who knows each best)
— Explaining how different examples work.
— Jokes
— Music at traffic lights
— Whack a Mole
— Telephone Box
— Traffic Hero

Open Source Fun
— We want people to get involved
— Artists
— Letting artists and curators add and rig their own geo-tagged distractions to be triggered by our system

Rounding Up (Whoever? Me?)
— Saying Thanks
— Final Comments (I have one or two)
— Opening up to questions

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Phrases I Thought Of Today

“It’s not just an app, it’s a movement.”

“We want to change the way people look at the city.”

“Open source fun”

“Allow London to distract itself, letting artists and curators add and rig their own geo-tagged distractions to be triggered by our system.”

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Simon Is ON IT.

Bare tings from my main man Simon…

Distracting London is Team If’s project to make commuting more fun. When commuting to work in London, there are many times where you are standing still not doing much, our goal is to fill in these lost minutes to make them surprising and fun by interacting with your direct enviroment or use it in a different way, with a variation of fun facts, jokes and short games. Our idea revolves around an app that tracks location and whether the participant is standing still, when waiting your phone lets out a chirp when you pick up your phone it will point something about your surroundings you might not have known or lets you play a game about that location. Not all the interactions have to be digital, there can be a one-man band on a street corner or moving sculpture that waves at you as you pass by. By analysing the data of people using the app we can ensure that we add new surprises and distractions on well travelled paths and make sure that people going to places not so common have their share of distractions as well.

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The Antics Roadshow


I watched Banksy’s documentary The Antics Roadshow this evening on 4oD. It was really inspiring but at the same time didn’t take itself too seriously and always had a sense of fun about it. I’d recommend you all watch it.

Check out this simple idea, using a couple of buckets of paint, dumped by cyclists waiting at the traffic lights, five minutes later and they had transformed the junction into a colourful spirograph.


It also got me thinking about the location-based app idea. As I mentioned in my earlier post, we need to provide entertainment at the point when the user is static. How about using the gyroscope function in smart phones in the opposite way to running apps do. We could propose to make pedometers that, rather than counting your steps, reward the user when they stop after walking. This way we can track the moment that someone is in transit but waiting.

This still needs some thought as the user could have ‘arrived’, but often they could be queueing, waiting for bus/train/traffic lights, buzzing at intercom etc — all the moments we talked about. This could be solved by a simple ‘have you arrived?’ yes/no question though.

It works in a number of forms, an iphone app, a pedometer, a satnav, an ipod, or potentially even wristbands/jewellery/clothing. Plus you could be rewarded in a number of random ways: played a song, sent a tweet, read a fortune cookie, or sent a game (like Traffic Hero!!).


I’ve just reminded myself of this – Jawbone UP. It’s a wristband and iPhone app that ultimately aims to make you healthier, via measuring exercise, sleep patterns, and even your food diary. This is cheesy and probably feels like non-stop nagging, it definitely needs an injection of location-based fun from Team If!!

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The City

I just remembered this animated film about cities that won a D&AD student award this summer. Worth a watch as it notices lots of the subtle understated moments that give a city it’s personality and definition.

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