Many of us at Snibbe Interactive have a difficult time describing to others exactly what it is we do. Terms like “interactive touch system,” “gestural experience,” “social interactivity” just aren’t as obvious as saying we’re nurses or nuclear physicists. What becomes of this discussion is usually a lot of arm waving and vivid descriptions of gigantic iPads.
So what goes on in an interactive studio and what kinds of people work here?
Studio life is not that much different than life in any other office, except we have giant projection screens, a woodshop in our basement, and more Kinects, cameras, and screens than Jimmy Fallon. Not to mention the grooming, dancing, and vamping of people in front of our SOMA office’s one-way mirror front windows. We all go out together every Wednesday for lunch at a neighborhood restaurant – everything from vegan (which in San Francisco is a synonym for “delicious”) to hard core barbecue. We also have bi-weekly Show-N-Tells where each of us presents the exciting projects we are working on. And if the weather is nice enough, we gorge on ice cream while skateboarding around the prototype space.
We’re a diverse mix of talented and creative minds from all over the world. Our employees speak Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and The Queen’s English. In addition to being engineers, designers, installers, and business developers, we are also authors, electronic musicians, comic book artists, sculptors, podcasters, parents, spouses, and friends.
Even our parents and partners sometimes scratch their heads as to what we do all day. A recent school group that visited reported back that it was like visiting Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. If interactivity was akin to a chocolate bar then that description would be accurate. But really what we do as interactive tech-geeks is to continue to gesture wildly and hope for the best.