As promised in my article earlier this week, I’m back with a first hand account of GE’s indescribably awesome interactive experience Throttle Up. Having visited the site and viewed the video clips I thought I had a firm idea of what to expect. Well, may I say expectations were vastly exceeded?
Excitement started to build as soon as I overheard a Throttle Up guide explain to the group ahead of me on line that they could opt to be builders or viewers. Right then I began wondering exactly how the Throttle Up experience worked and what to expect. As luck would have it, I was able to speak with part of the power players behind the project—Andrew Goldberg, GE Director, Creative Content Corporate Commercial and Communications and BBDO Creative Director, Scott Ex Rodgers. Rodgers explained the decision at the outset to develop Throttle Up around existing Kinect technology and then focus on building out the state of the art experience.
When asked how long it took Throttle Up to come together, the response was a surprising few short months. And, when asked about challenges, Rodgers responded that the main challenge had been finding a suitable space. Commenting that once the right vendors were in place the process had been virtually “frictionless.” Listening to them speak about the impressive effort behind Throttle Up suspicions that this would be a showstopper solidified.
Then it was time for me to try Throttle Up for myself. After a short video and a quick word of advice from my exhibit guide Kyle, to “engage as much as possible” for the most rewarding experience, I was in. Against the backdrop of a starlit night sky hung a collection of strikingly realistic engine parts awaiting assembly and it wasn’t long before my GEnx Engine was completed. Subtle details like the metallic clank of the parts hitting each other and the satisfying “thunk” sound when it all came together gave the experience an added dimension.
Aside from the experience itself, part of the beauty of the Throttle Up concept stems from the clear thought that went into every aspect of it. GE has outdone themselves, creating a concept that is intensely in tune with a creative audience yet still has powerful broad appeal. Something Goldberg alluded to when he talked about Throttle Up being “about the story.” Another noteworthy aspect of Throttle Up is its accessibility. No minimum age or fitness level is required (just that participants are tall enough for the camera to capture). At the end of my Throttle Up experience I asked Goldberg if there had been an intention in part to rekindle the American fascination with flight. He replied that he thought of it as being more “the idea that technology innovation is not just conceptual, but things that are physically made in the U.S.A.”
There’s still time to experience Throttle Up for yourself. It’s free and open to the public from 9 a.m.–11 p.m. throughout Creative Week, from May 7–11 at Jane’s Carousel, located at 56 Water Street, Brooklyn, New York.