April 05, 2017
Introducing "AREA 2.1": The home of experimentation and rapid prototyping
By: George Krasadakis

At The Dock, experimentation and collaboration are part of everyday life; they’re embedded in our DNA. In fact, our world leading connected building has been specifically designed to influence and pave the way for innovation and co-creation between our talented multidisciplinary teams.

A Purpose-Built Makerspace

One of the many unique features of The Dock is AREA 2.1, a purpose-built makerspace equipped with the latest technology, tools, hardware and bespoke equipment that enable the experimentation and rapid prototyping needed to make innovation real.

Purpose-Built Makerspace

AREA 2.1 is much more than a collection of hi-tech devices; it is a combination of tech, tools and special equipment that, along with reusable components, templates and data, empowers teams to ideate and quickly develop physical, digital or mixed reality prototypes for real-world, real-life problems.

Special programmes including innovation events and ideation processes along with a gamification layer, further establish AREA 2.1 as a point of reference within The Dock for experimentation.

Purpose-Built Makerspace

Enter the AI

If you are new to AREA 2.1, you can quite literally ask the space "what can I do with technology X?" and you will get a verbal response that contains answers and that displays relevant content on screen. You simply ask the space, and Artificial Intelligence will get you started.

Enter the AI

Or you can start exploring the building blocks, from reusable predictive models trained against well-known datasets and standardized software components to templates and re-usable UI elements. For example, you can quickly combine APIs and resources to build a novel Microsoft HoloLens application, or use analytical models to create personalised 3D models and print them on a high-quality 3D printer.

Users of the makerspace can also consume our APIs and cognitive libraries to empower novel user interaction scenarios, or even build and test an idea in virtual or mixed reality.

The space is also designed to evolve as a knowledge repository; as teams experiment with ideas in AREA 2.1, they feedback their outcomes, knowledge and expertise back into the space.

Enter the AI

This empowers great information and knowledge sharing scenarios which speed up the prototyping process via templates, examples, use-cases, working demos, reusable components, shared data sets and how-to-guides.

Voice-driven interactions allow makers to ask for hints, advice and inspiration on how to use particular devices and technologies or how to deal with a certain class of problems.

Having AREA 2.1 at the heart of The Dock makes us ready to prototype and prepare sophisticated demos while also enabling collaboration in multidisciplinary teams. This dramatically reduces the time required to go from an idea to a functional prototype and then to a client.

Enter the AI

What’s next for AREA 2.1?

This is just the beginning for AREA 2.1. The next phase will see additional pieces of intelligent technology inserted into the space to make it autonomous; for example;

  • Making the space aware of its inventory along with the state and usage pattern of each specific device

  • Allowing the space to proactively offer content-driven experiences which are relevant to a particular audience

  • Enabling the space to model, analyse and report its own key performance indicators

Has Area 2.1 sparked your interest? Discover more about The Dock here, or browse all of our open positions.

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