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Rocketeer Charity: Ashoka Changemakers

For our first charity drawing this month, Rocketeers are supporting Ashoka Changemakers – the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs.

Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries across the globe work at putting world-changing ideas into practice through start-up financing, professional support services, and high level networking across both business and social sectors.

Founded in 1980 by Bill Drayton, the organization is named after Ashoka - a 3rd Century BC leader who unified the Indian subcontinent and is considered by many the earliest example of a social innovator.

Bottle Rocket is committed to a balance between business and community, and it’s special when the two can find equal footing. We’re looking forward to seeing how the donation will be put to good use by Ashoka’s global network.

For more info visit Ashoka Changemakers' website. 

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Flying at full mast: Hot Flag

Failing isn’t so bad if you can do it brilliantly.

During Rocket Science 2014, Team Hot Flag accomplished just that and won the “Brilliant Failure” prize at our awards presentation.

Led by art director Simon Stipp, Hot Flag came together to form an impromptu jam band (with a tongue-in-cheek reference to punk band Black Flag).

Hot Flag’s aesthetic was based on the classic American hot dog.

“We wanted to create a band along with a fun app that played its music. What we’re really after is stardom, however,” Stipp said.

On Rocket Science:

“According to Hot Flag the purpose should be to experiment, have fun and not take yourself too seriously,” Stipp said. 

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Bottle Rocket wins big at DSVC Dallas Show 2014

We were excited to see three Bottle Rocket Apps in the Dallas Society of Visual Communication’s Dallas Show 2014 this past weekend.  

Congratulations to our NBC and Showtime teams for taking home Silver and Bronze respectively.   

This is the 3rd year in a row that Bottle Rocket work has been featured in the show! 

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Rocketeers build an app to help 2.5 million Americans with speech impairments

With three hours on your hands, you could:

A) Catch up on Game of Thrones

B) Refresh Facebook 300 times

C) Help change 2.5 million lives

The Human Voicebank, our winning Rocket Science team, chose to spend their 24 hours making those three hours a crisp, enjoyable user experience so you’d want to pick C.

Jason Osburn, Director of UX/Product Innovation for AWE, was inspired to pull his team together after hearing Dr. Rupal Patel of Northeastern University deliver a talk on her foundation VocaliD.

Patel’s goal with VocaliD is to provide those with severe speech impairments the chance to sound like themselves again (or for the first time). By combining patterns from the host’s own vocal cords and speech elements from donated recordings, VocaliD develops a unique vocal identity for applicants.  

With no comprehensive databank to collect donated recordings and no dedicated platform to funnel those donations to Patel’s team, the process takes a significant amount of effort.

Osburn and his team of designers, developers, and quality assurance experts worked to build an app that lets users read, record, and upload over 1,000 sentences to donate to VocaliD.

"We are so grateful to Jason and his team at Bottle Rocket for working with VocaliD and The Human Voicebank to build a simple, elegant and functional voice recording app. We were simply blown away by what they accomplished in 24 hours and how spot on it was for launching our mobile voice drive!" Dr. Patel said.

After Rocket Science, The Human Voicebank won the overall prize for “Magnificent Success” for not only building a complete app, but also building an app that can help change lives.

Watch the video below for more insight into how The Human Voicebank was built and what team members had to say about the project:

The Human Voicebank App by Bottle Rocket from Bottle Rocket on Vimeo.

Somewhere New (Lee Rosevere) / CC BY-NC 4.0
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Team PicoGames builds 48 mini-games in 24 hours

If you’ve ever played the Wario Ware series of games, you’re familiar with the concept of microgames.

Tiny, multiple-second engagements, microgames task the player with a single objective and often take on a silly, cartoonish appearance.

Team PicoGames tasked themselves with building 24 of these microgames during their time at Rocket Science.

Instead, they churned out 48 individual picogames.

The games reflect our culture at Bottle Rocket with objectives like picking a charity of out of a basket, dodging NERF darts, and putting pieces of a stormtrooper costume on our founder and CEO Calvin Carter.

“The goal of the project was literally to build 24 games in 24 hours.  We were both hoping to explore some of the graphic API’s we don’t normally use in our day-to-day work and capture some of the playfulness that makes Bottlerocket a great place to work,” Android Developer Bill Francis said.

Team PicoFames won the "Most Solid” award for their effective use of time.

Rather than a golden goblet, however, Team Picogames received a celebratory brick.

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Android users can access a PicoGames build via Dropbox

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Recent News

Bottle Rocket App’s new 49,570 square-foot space, not only almost doubles the size of its current offices in Addison, it provides it with a more-conducive environment to a fast-paced tech company, founder Calvin Carter said.

Read More