By Mario Toneguzzi
The idea for FrontRunner Technologies came to Nathan Elliott one day while sitting in his vehicle waiting at a red light.
“It started with a literal light bulb moment two years ago sitting at a traffic light in downtown Regina Saskatchewan,” said Elliott. “We had just finished doing a projection mapping demonstration which is offered by a media company that I founded with the FrontRunner founders.”
“We had always been looking for a scaled solution for projection mapping. We realized there is a plague of empty space everywhere, so over the last two years we’ve set forth on a mission to illuminate the world through our Firefly technology,” he said.
Elliott is on the cusp of introducing his dream across North America. He’s taking its first-of-its kind digital media delivery platform for window fronts to the streets in scale. Using innovative technology, FrontRunner is spearheading the new marketing medium on a mass scale that is bringing light to dark spaces. “The concept is simple – we bring window fronts to life with art, film, news, sports, music and advertisements using some of the best real estate in the country as the creative canvas. We believe public space will never be the same,” said Elliott.
Through alignments with building agents and owners, FrontRunner gains access to high traffic real estate. And, together with creators (agencies, brands, film studios, art institutes, newsmakers and community organizations) it populates what FrontRunner calls the WindowFront Matrix with dynamic projection-mapped video and interactive content in real time.
The company’s factory is in Regina where design, IT work and technology development takes place. FrontRunner also has team members in Toronto and Vancouver.
“We’ve self-titled ourselves public space pioneers. In so doing we’re exploring new frontiers of content delivery into cities across North America,” he said. “Our focus is on an uplift of social capital. We see the value of driving content into public spaces with the goal of instilling awe and inspiration in passersby.”
Elliott said unique alignments with the world’s largest commercial real estate groups gives FrontRunner unprecedented access to windows in scale. Its proprietary technology and logistics solutions allow the company to grow its WindowFront inventory everywhere from large urban centres to small peripheral markets.
Listing agents improve turnover and monetize empty space. Advertisers take their message directly to the streets. Retail partners grow their sales by adding light, motion and interactivity to their faceless glass, added Elliott.
“We turn the windows of retail spaces both empty and full into dynamic projection mapped content that is delivered in real time,” he said. “We developed the FireFly Illumination System that allows us to drive high definition and interactive content into window fronts. We named it FireFly because there’s literal meaning to bringing light to dark space. The firefly is the most efficient organism on earth turning 100 per cent of the chemical reaction within into light energy. The life cycle of a firefly is about a month which tends to be the duration of a FrontRunner campaign,” Elliott said.
[Below: 1033 Granville Street, Vancouver]
“We’ve delivered a scaled inventory at street level and in malls that didn’t exist previously by leveraging existing real estate. Malls need to be seen as vibrant places to visit, so when a store closes, we can come in and provide an illuminated front, rather than a dark window,” he said. “But we also look at how our projection systems can bring to life the windows of existing retail outlets. In fact, we just obtained a trade mark on Window Shopping, which is interactive integration turning any window into essentially one big iPad. We envision a time in the not-too-distant future where retailers will augment their window fronts by using the interactive technology for promotions, catalogues, points of purchase and more,” he added.
To scale the business, FrontRunner developed two apps powering the WindowFront Matrix.
The Real Estate App is a first-of-its-kind platform that forms a gateway for building owners, landlords, brokers and agents to create, and upload property profiles of vacant spaces from any device.
“The real estate community is driving an important part of this business model by putting their empty spaces into an inventory. In return for granting access we get spaces leased out more quickly by turning them into destinations and driving new revenue streams.” added Elliott.
The Creator App can search, request, and secure the perfect windows for each campaign. Creators can upload content, schedule campaigns, pay for media, and monitor real-time analytics in one central source of truth.
Together, the Real Estate and Creator apps are symbols for changing the face of two important industries. It is clear that FrontRunner is on the move and coming to a window near you.
For more information on FrontRunner Technologies, visit: www.frontrunner-tech.com
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org