• Technology

    ‘Touch’ includes Near Field Communication (NFC) on smart phones and in tags, RFID, QR codes and any other short-range technology by which people can easily become involved in an experience via the places and things in the world around them. Touch is much more precise than GPS or WiFi as a location technology. It works anywhere, indoors or out. And it’s respectful and lightweight: users decide to get involved and engage as deeply as they like through simple actions.

    We’ve built apps for cities, crowds, festivals and even tea rooms based on touch. See itsatouchthing.net for more about this service.


    krstl logo


    Fashion Popcorn Launch from Fashion Popcorn on Vimeo.


    Krstl delivers content and experiences through engaging physical portals called crystals. Crystals, which can take many interactive physical forms (see the example above and below), are embedded in retail, leisure and event spaces including shops, shopping centres (malls), cafés, pubs, clubs and exhibitions. Visitors and customers interact with crystals to download content such as video clips and coupons, receive content from their friends, or take part in a shared application such as a vote, a game or a lottery.  Visitors interact using their mobile phones over the mobile web (including Wi-Fi) or Bluetooth.  Thanks to matter 2 media’s technology, no app is required and Krstl supports the vast majority of mobiles.

    The UK’s Technology Strategy Board awarded a grant to matter 2 media to develop Krstl.

    Krstl is a new type of social-physical network.  Crystals deliver exclusive content  from space-owners and their visitors, brands and other information providers, tuned precisely to who their visitors are and where they are in the real world.  Crystals provide value to space-owner by drawing people and increasing footfall. They enable campaigners and publishers to target advertisements and content on the basis of the spaces where their audience visits.  Unlike other social-physical networks, Krstl gives space-owners a genuine stake in the delivery of content and experiences to their visitors.

    As well as a new interaction mechanism between the mobile and the crystal, matter 2 media has developed a suite of loctcha technologies.  A loctcha is to a physical space what a captcha is to a website.  Some websites make their visitors copy a captcha’s distorted text to prove that they are human and not a bot or other software entity.  Similarly, a loctcha proves that someone is really present in your space, and not a person or a program simply claiming that they are there.  Loctchas, unlike captchas, are designed to be fun or transparent to the user.

    The video at the top of the page shows the interactive mannequin and colour dome crystals that matter 2 media created for a Fashion, Film and Digital Media event at the London College of Fashion. This post describes the event in full.

    The sphere below is one of our first prototype crystals, a beacon visible from afar designed by Neil Glen.  In action, the crystal projects swirling content onto its lower hemisphere, which responds as people interact with it.  Many other designs are possible, including our other first prototypes an ambiently glowing “lamp” small enough to sit amongst merchandise in a shop or on a bar or table in a leisure venue.  See the home page for an example of one of these small crystals on a stand in a cinema complex. Krstl supports fine-grained locations for crystals: there can be several in an indivudual shop, for example, placed wherever the owners would like to draw people.

    Krstl sphere protottype

    For further information about Krstl, contact matter 2 media.