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Admiral Edgecase: Capturing Attention

How do you get people to visit your stand at a conference? Free pens, badges, swag? Giant signage?

Nah, you need one of these:

Let us explain...

The team at Microsoft have been working hard to make the latest Internet Explorer standards compliant, meaning that many of the historically required CSS/JavaScript hacks are a thing of the past.

To aid developers, they've built this tool to help identify any potential issues with a given website - but how to make people WANT to use it?

Admiral Edgecase was a 5 day hack-spirited build in the basement of the Microsoft campus in Reading with a goal of creating "a bit of theatre" to help draw in the crowds at conferences.

Challenge accepted!

As usual, we went to town: RGB lights, copper cladding, a supermarket till display, brass studs, knobs, raspberry pis, switches, dials, fetching green felt, edison light bulbs, arduinos, leather, a smoke machine, a plasma ball and a receipt printer were among the raw ingredients.

We stuck all of it into a modified arcade cabinet, poured in some blood sweat and tears, then stuck some casters on the bottom to make it roll like the wind.

Hell, we even treated the copper cladding to make it look water damaged...

It casts an imposing shadow at over seven feet tall and, thanks to flickering lights and a badass looking plasma ball, certainly makes people curious enough to come over for a go!

The user is greeted with a cheerful prompt to enter their website address and interact with various switches and lights to initiate the test sequence, after which the Admiral begins his analysis.

A few blips, bleeps and bloops later, and after a thorough billowing of smoke, the results of their test are printed out on a receipt for them to take away.

Bit of theatre? Yeah, we reckon so!

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