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October 22, 2012

Maxus launch technology R&D division Metalworks in Asia

At Campaign’s Digital Spotlight event in Singapore, Maxus unveiled its global technology R&D division, Metalworks. The founders of Metalworks – Tom Kelshaw and Nico Abbruzzese -- demonstrated some recent Metalworks projects, including sensor-equipped cricket equipment and apps, Twitter-powered vending machines, facial recognition systems for retail environments and out-of-home media.

“So many innovation units or digital “labs” simply talk about ideas. And that’s where it stops. With Metalworks we wanted the focus to be on utility and delivery – actually taking ideas all the way through to implementation. The Metalworks global headquarters is here in Asia – where we can deliver innovation to our global network with more speed and efficiency than anywhere else in the world.” said Nico Abbruzzese, AP Head of Digital for Maxus and the inspiration and driving force behind Metalworks.
“Asia in particular is already well beyond the “cusp” of new technology possibilities – we’re right in the thick of it, and it’s time for brands to get involved.” said Tom Kelshaw. “We’re working with a global network of developer communities, scientists, inventors and startups to bring clients innovative and useful technology within marketing budgets and timeframes. ” Kelshaw, who has a background in digital production and development, was most recently Head of Digital for Maxus Australia. He relocated to Singapore this month to lead Metalworks full-time.

Demonstrated at the event were a range of Metalworks’ projects covering a spectrum of digital innovation. From SmartSearch, an iPad app that empowers marketers and non-specialist agencies to easily plan Search campaigns to a Twitter-powered vending machine that dispenses drinks in the office whilst tracking its users.

Also on display was Maxy, the Virtual Receptionist using Microsoft Kinect technology and facial recognition to automatically phone the desk of the most appropriate staff to come to greet you. This affordable and efficient new receptionist will be appearing in Maxus offices around the world and in retail point-of-sale.

Neil Stewart, Asia Pacific CEO of Maxus said “I am delighted that we have the Metalworks unit here in Asia to support our clients and local teams. We have access to people with great digital ideas born out of an intimate knowledge of what is possible at the cutting edge of technology. But more importantly a team that is focused on making those ideas real… From PowerPoint to making stuff happen!”