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Chicago-based digital experiential agency, NEXT/NOW, is expanding it’s West Loop Headquarters, as well as adding a focused R&D lab. Retaining their home in the Haymarket Square building, NEXT/NOW is adding a dedicated digital retail demo space. The additional space will house ‘living’ versions of the agency’s next-generation retail systems, from digital hologram showcases to projection-mapped product displays. “We are in the middle of rolling out continuous large-scale retail experiences, and it was clear we needed a dedicated area to house ongoing digital/physical projects. Part of our process is to ensure that our development and art teams are able to work on actual scale models of the interactive tables, projection surfaces, and devices that are deployed in the field. Building out this space gives us room to make that happen as well as host user testing events, which are also an integral part of our creative and development process” says NEXT/NOW Art Director, Marcin Strycek.

The dedicated R&D Lab, known as ProtoNEXT, is comprised of a 2500 square foot workshop and office space in suburban St. Charles. 35 foot ceilings ensure a full palette of projection surfaces for scale viewing of the agency’s larger-than-life projection and interactive projects. The lab is outfitted with a complete wood shop and metal fabrication facility, including 3 axis CNC and MIG/TIG welding stations. A full arsenol of NEC projectors, from 5k to 20 k are available for project development and projection-mapping, content proofing and testing. Additionally, a green-screen studio with drive-in entry and infinite cyc wall rounds out the space. “Our most compelling projects are a mashup of digital content, interactive interfaces, and physical forms. Having the ability to quickly prototype, test and iterate next-gen concepts, projections, and displays gives our clients an advantage of seeing a functioning project well before it reaches the production stage.” states Alan Hughes, founder of NEXT/NOW.

NEXT/NOW is a digital experiential agency that creates digital/physical experiences for world-class retail, exhibit, and brand environments. Clients include Intel, Kraft, Audi, Morton Salt, Accenture, Glade, Cars.com, John Deere, Farmers Insurance, and Steelcase. Learn more at www.nextnowagency.com, or contact Janna Retzler at 312.945.6222