If you had told me that I’d attend an event with leaders from some of the most influential companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the fifth day of my internship, I would’ve thought you were crazy.
This past Wednesday, I was fortunate enough to attend a 900lbs demo-cocktail-party hybrid at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Plano. We held this event not only for our existing partners, but also to introduce potential clients to the amazing things we are capable of creating.
The 900lbs team pulled out all of the stops; after walking up the grandiose staircase, attendees entered through glass doors into the event. To the left, our own Jason Brandt set up multiple iPads with some of our 360° camera footage from our project with Shell, instantly transporting guests to the Permian Basin oil rig in West Texas. (We didn’t forget about the snacks- they were over there too). On the right, our Experience Design Principal Josh Bray helped guests operate one of our HTC Vives, a virtual reality headset. This station displayed one of our projects currently under development for FC Dallas, in which the user acts as a goalie and deflects incoming virtual soccer balls. The image depicted in the Vive was also displayed on a monitor, so that the audience could experience the program along with the user.
Walk a little further, and guests were taken to a small rotunda before joining the tour of our beloved project: The HPE Experience. As they waited for the next tour to start, they could get a drink at the bar, check out the aerial view of the HPE security data center or demo the other Vive set up with the paintbrush app, which allows users to paint in a three-dimensional space around their entire bodies.
After a few minutes, our “sherpa” led us into the HPE Experience Room: an immersive experience that our team spent nearly two years developing, which simulates climbing a mountain to teach the importance of teamwork and the right tools. There I was, a 21-year-old intern, about to participate in a team building exercise with executives from Samsung, Microsoft, American Airlines and Frito Lay. Could it get much better than that?
As we “climbed the mountain,” I quickly realized that the video simply does not do this experience justice; as an intern, it was amazing to experience the projects first-hand after hearing about them for so many weeks. Everyone in the room was blown away by the detail, technology and ingenuity of the demonstration. As we walked out, I overheard many guests emphatically express to one another how much they love 900lbs and the work we’ve done, making my experience all the better.
From working in the studio, I already knew that what 900lbs does is cool. But after experiencing our work for myself and seeing how our clients react to it, I truly understand how unique this company is and how appreciative I am to be a part of it.