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DT Daily: TechFest NW wrap, Statues call smartphones, Behind the scenes at Laika

Over the weekend, thought leaders in the Tech world converged on Portland Oregon to sip good coffee, drink microbrews, and share their insights at Techfest Northwest. Speakers ranged from RE/CODE’s Kara Swisher, to the NFL’s director of mobile tech – Steve Adler, to Intel’s Director of User Experience Research – Genevieve Bell. Also in attendance, the Coolest Cooler guy. Ryan Grepper’s groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign cracked the 9 million dollar mark during the event. Other demonstrations included 3D printers and a Bitcoin ATM. This was the third year for TechFest Northwest, which piggybacks off the long running MusicFest Northwest.

If you’re walking the streets of London or Manchester over the next year, and would like to hear what a few of the statues dotted around each city have to say for themselves, they’ll call you up and let you know. Yes, you heard that right, you’ll get a phone call from any one of 35 different famous figures – from Queen Victoria to Sherlock Holmes – and be regaled with a monologue about their lives. Because the statues would find it hard to dial with such stiff limbs, it’ll be down to you to use the NFC tag or QR code to prompt a call. It should be worth it though, as each monologue has been written and performed by a British writer or actor. We’re really hoping at least one will say, “Crikey Guv’nor, get this pigeon awf me ‘ead!”

Laika animation studios marries modern digital film production with the century old practice of stop motion animation, to create some amazing movies. The Oscar nominated ‘ParaNorman’ is their most recent feature film, and Members of their creative team gave attendees at TechFest Northwest a behind the scenes look into it’s creation. The introduction of 3D printers not only sped up production, but allowed designers to create with more intricate detail. Making precise, repeatable changes to animated objects lets animators craft characters that evolve subtly throughout a film. Their third feature film ‘the Boxtrolls’ will be in theaters later in September. And that’s DT Daily for today, we’ll see you tomorrow.