Digital agency SapientNitro has acquired Portland-based Second Story, an interactive studio that focuses on merging digital interactivity into physical environments. The sum of the acquisition has not been disclosed.
The company's co-founders Julie Beeler and Brad Johnson and the rest of the roughly 40-person team will become part of SapientNitro's Global Experience Innovation team. They will remain in Oregon as a center of excellence, according to Donald Chesnut, chief experience officer at SapientNitro, where they will continue to focus on augmented reality and creative storytelling in the physical space. They will also work closely with the company's mobility team centered in Atlanta, he said.
The acquisition fits SapientNitro's current strategy of helping clients such as LensCrafters, Vail Resorts and Unilever to reimagine their businesses by digitizing physical objects and spaces. "Driven by the iPhone, we have seen the expansion of the Web and the mobile phone into physical venues, whether it is stores, hotels or bank branches," said Chester.
Second Story has made a name for itself creating imaginative interactive displays in particular for museums including The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, the Museum of Modern Art and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2007, it also worked with SapientNitro to create an exhibit that highlights the art and architecture of the U.S. Library of Congress' Jefferson Building. It has also worked with brands including Coca Cola, Nike and National Geographic.
Chesnut told ClickZ today that they are already in talks to put Second Story's expertise to use with various retail clients, but couldn't say yet which ones.
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Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.
March 19, 2014