- LOS ANGELES
Tool of North America and Belgian creative technology studio nøcomputer have entered into a partnership to form Tool Belgium, a technology-focused European operation. The satellite presence will serve as Tool of N.A.’s dedicated technology development studio for projects with North American clients. The launch also comes during Tool’s 25th anniversary year, marking a pinnacle moment for them as a force across a global creative production industry.
Discussions around the launch of Tool Belgium began in late 2019. The development now comes at a time when brands and agencies are increasingly turning to Tool for an innovative approach to digital and interactive experiences in light of the COVID-19-related restrictions on public gatherings. Tool Belgium will work in tandem with Tool’s Los Angeles-based office and its roster of world-class creative and technology-centric talent to produce forward-thinking and valuable experiences.
“For years, Tool has collaborated with nøcomputer on a wide range of projects, making the decision to partner on the launch of Tool Belgium a natural next step in our relationship,” said Dustin Callif, president of Tool of North America. “As the world continues to rely heavily on technology for communication and a sense of community, having a dedicated creative tech partner in Tool Belgium is the perfect advancement for Tool to create new types of advertising relevant to a rapidly changing industry.”
Wim Vanhenden and Gwen Vanhee, co-founders of nøcomputer, shared in a joint statement, “Since we started working with them four years ago, we’ve felt like part of the Tool family. Our relationship with Tool has been built on trust and mutual hunger to go out and make awesome new applications of technology for the industry. That combination has allowed us to explore limits and push boundaries together. Tool Belgium is bringing that attitude to the next level, and it’s just the beginning.”
Nøcomputer, represented on Tool’s talent roster for several years, specializes in the use of code to tell stories with deep experience in A.I. (machine learning and computer vision), gesture-based interactions, and code-based design. Recent collaborative projects of note by nøcomputer and Tool include “Real-Time Exception Spotting,” the cutting edge computer vision project for New Balance launched at NYFW Spring 2019, “The Longest Drive,” a gamified mobile experience for Volvo leveraging gaze tracking, “Sounds Like You,” a browser-based project for Pandora that visualized the company’s proprietary Music Genome data, and “Verizon 5G Stadium,” an immersive A.R. experience for Verizon at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Together, they also developed the computer vision technology used in the Cannes Lion-winning campaign for The Recording Academy, “Play the City,” transforming the streets of New York City into a musical instrument set inside of an Uber car.