Crowdpaint tablet
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Microsoft: CrowdPaint


To show off Microsoft Windows' Inking feature at big box retail stores worldwide, we created an interactive painting experience to allow shoppers to put their ideas into orbit. Microsoft wanted an experience installed at retail stores worldwide to highlight the new Inking tools in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and increase sales of their Surface tablet. To help achieve this, they turned to Future Colossal to concept and realize an experience to fit their needs.


The Michael Alan Group




Design, Development, Experiential Design Consultant


The result is a multi-device creation tool that let users customize and color 3D assets on connected surface tablets - their creations populated a live updating, moderated space-scape on displays visible to the whole store where their creations interacted with one another in a galaxy of wonder.


Using a custom-built application took advantage of the Microsoft Surface's touch screen and stylus. Shoppers colored directly onto 3D models in an intuitive and enjoyable manner. The participant's drawing was dynamically assisted to make it easier for them to color within the lines of the model while still having full control over their artwork.

Once the shopper's masterpiece was completed, they “launched” it into space and onto a large public display, in the center of the store. Multiple Surface interactive devices displayed in the store; allowing illustrations launched from different Surface devices to uniquely animate into the same display. Animated characters continued to explore the planet and even interact with each other, like a UFO beaming up astronauts and black holes sucking everything away to a far off land. This shared display allows for multiple experience touchpoints and unified user experience.

Shoppers got to test out the impressive Microsoft Surface line and Inking tools while having a personal experience with the brand by seeing their artwork animate and come to life. If they chose, they’ll also receive a copy of their image in a branded email to take the retail experience home and share it with others.

Microsoft surface crowdpaint drawing
Microsoft surface crowdpaint app

Distributed to retail stores across the world, Future Colossal created an intuitive setup process for the asymmetrical multi-device systems. Setting up remote monitoring allowed our teams to support teams on the ground in real time.

A challenge for any retail environment where visitors are invited to create in real time is moderation. To address the needs of store employees we created a creative live-moderation tool that allowed on-site employees to moderate at will - deploying a black hole to suck up any objectionable content on all in-store displays at the touch of a button. Empowering on-site employees to curate and engage with the experience meant this fun retail experience stayed enjoyable for all visitors.