Profile Thomas Squarepimentelprotocol, an Apple hardware veteran building a bitcoin wallet for Square, and how he photographs retail countertop to inform product design
For those who don’t know Thomas Templeton is the co-founder of High Fidelity, the company that is also responsible for designing Google Glass.
Here is his brief biography on High Fidelity website:
“Thomas Templeton is a co-founder and the Chief Product Officer of High Fidelity, a virtual reality company based in San Francisco. Prior to High Fidelity, Thomas was Senior Director of Consumer Hardware at Oculus VR, where he led the development of the Rift DK1 and Rift DK2. Prior to Oculus, Thomas was a Senior Manager for Tools Design at Apple Inc., focusing on iPad and iPhone accessories as well as other mobile products. Prior to Apple, Thomas was an industrial design student at the University of California, San Diego.”
A photograph of a retail countertop from Flickr by Thomas Templeton
Though he is not a bitcoin enthusiast himself, he has used his iPhone to capture the images of various retail countertops that are used in product design and development. He has written more than ten blog posts on his personal blog regarding this subject matter. His interests include photography and virtual reality technology.
This article observes his photography process and examines the results of it, and compares a few countertop shots that have been captured through his iPhone. The blog article also contains some other technical information on how he captures and processes these images.
The image below shows him at one of his assignments, which is capturing retail countertops in San Francisco (source: Flickr). He seems to be using his iphone for taking the photos, using a 2-second timer and long exposure.
He has used this technique of clicking the iphone camera for about four years and it has helped him a lot in visualizing the design that can be used in software products like Google Glass, Oculus and other consumer electronics devices.
“The most interesting thing about photographing retail countertops is that the objects suddenly become abstracted from their usual context. The same blocks of wood might have come from fifty different places, all over the world. The same liquid soap might have been mass produced in the same factory and sold all over the country. The same metallic ball bearing was probably made in a factory that’s been making these for a long time. I’m very interested in process and materials, so maybe its because of this, but I’ve found that taking pictures of things like this has helped me a lot with visualizing the design that can be used for software products like Google Glass, Oculus, and other consumer electronics devices. Maybe I subconsciously find a way to combine my two passions, photography and design.”
Below are the other two retail countertops that were photographed with his iPhone.
He has written a blog article on his personal blog where he has given some technical details on how he captures this type of product photography. In the image below, you can see him involved in taking photographs of the retail countertops and observing their textures with a microscope. This is one of the techniques that he uses.
Based on the blog entries, it can be seen that this type of photography is more towards an observation and documentation of a product than a design experiment like those used in product design. He has been using this technique in the past few years and it has lead to a lot of interesting results.
His blog entry about taking photographs of retail countertops with his iPhone and using them for product design creation mentions the image below taken from Flickr.