Video by: Erick Herrarte, Anita Wilhelm, and Nathan Good
Platforms : Mobile Web
Responsibilities : Product Definition, UX Wires, Visual Assets, Branding, Hiring, Investor Relations, Fund Raising
Founded in 2004, Caterpillar Mobile was dedicated to creating immersive play experiences with your mobile devices. Our mantra, Mobile Media Fun, exemplified our belief that new forms of media production and creation could be used playfully to help users enjoy their lives more, while looking at the world a little bit differently. Our beliefs that learning, discovery, and exploration happen thoughout life, not only while sitting in straight rows of chairs in a classroom, were at the pinnacle of the ideas that continued to brew within Caterpillar Mobile. Zooke was a mobile media and social play platform that allows users to explore the city through interacting with user created challenges. Using the notion of a ‘challenge’ as a social object, Zooke allows participants to create ‘challenges’ for different degrees of friends or family. At the same time, it encouraged mobile photo sharing, which then was in it’s infancy and had many technical hurdles – including MMS inoperability. On the backend, the game play resulted in a database of rich media assets. While the Zooke platform was our first project, we discussed and envisioned a number of additional extensions which would lie on top of this foundational system. As the development of the commercial mobile ecosystem proved slower than originally anticipated, we decided eventually to discontinue our commercial pursuits, but to employ our ideas and thinking through a non-profit setting. As a part of one of the first National Science Foundation grants dedicated to exploring the use of mobile technologies in informal learning settings, Zooke was regarded as a great tool for experimentation in informal learning strategies. As such, we returned Zooke to its home in education and implemented a modified version of the platform for the “Science Now, Science Everywhere” initiative in the Liberty Science Center, in New York – which was released at their reopening in July 2007.