We’re very excited to announce something special today.

Y2 (http://y2.theroyals.com.au) is our new product development offering launched in partnership with Deakin University. The lab’s programs will explore the fields of creative and communication technology that are driving contemporary interfaces and experiences.

Over the past few years, we’ve all noticed that it’s not only technology companies that need to be technology companies. It’s not only publishers that need to act like publishers. And it’s not only interface design companies that are in the business of creating compelling, interesting, valuable, products and experiences to put in front of people. Every client or organisation we know seems like they are being challenged to act like something they’re not, to look a little bit sideways in directions they haven’t looked before or to explore places they haven’t previously needed to. And what this makes us think, is that we need to continually remind ourselves what it is we do at the core, what we’re best at as an individual or organisation, but now importantly, we also need to continually reimagine just how we do it.

So we are launching Y2 today with the goal of helping organisations do exactly that.

With Y2, we are building a culture of thinking by doing, of understanding what’s possible by actively exploring it. We’ve fine-tuned methods of helping rapidly move an idea from a chat over a coffee or a beer, to a working prototype that can inspire and galvanise an organisation.

With Deakin University onboard as a our foundation research partner, it cements an exciting, and an original type of partnership in this country. We are super pumped about exploring a bunch of different collaborative models that help us bring industry and research closer together. We’re reaching out into the Deakin community to find collaborators for all kinds of projects, and we’re helping be a catalyst for technologists, engineers, artists and creatives from different schools and faculties to work together, with us, in different ways.

We’ve already been working with great people to help prototype products that address a range of interesting challenges. Some things we’ve asked ourselves over the past couple of months:

How might we use AI and conversational experiences to help a major Australian organisation evolve and innovate its own customer service strategy?

How might we use VR and mixed reality to provide educational experiences that are so immersive and memorable that people can’t help but learn and remember?

How might we create a whole new operating system for the home that helps people live better together?

The main way we’re working with clients is through our Incubator Projects. This is where we apply our teams to map out and prototype an opportunity, product, service, interface or new media form and find new types of creative and commercial advantage.

Another important part of our programming is our Research Residencies. These are 6 week projects for researchers and practitioners, often higher degree by research or PHD students, to consider, research and prototype around a specific remit. Applications for the first Y2 Research Residency are now open: http://y2.theroyals.com.au/residency/.

We’re also dedicated to articulating and sharing our thinking and discoveries along the way. We’ve been deep in the throes of developing conversional experiences for the past 6 months, so we’ve created an exploratory review called Talking to the machine. Copies are available by request from Louise Richards (email).

The team is really excited to see where this takes us. Please feel free to pop in and see our new space in Melbourne soon.

Dave King
Director, Y2
@daveking

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