This Bloom is off the Vine

As of November 1st, 2012, Bloom Studio Inc. has ceased operations.  We’d like to thank all of you who accompanied us in our explorations of new forms of playful data-driven discovery. Planetary was downloaded onto over 2 million iPads and was hailed by users and critics alike as one of the most beautiful experiences to push graphic performance on their new devices.

We have been working with the ideas behind applications like Planetary and Biologic since long before we came together to form Bloom, and we will doubtlessly reapproach this space again in future manifestations of our work.  Seed-funded ventures are like essays striving for the culture-changing insight.  Who knows what our next iterations will bring?  I think we might have some ideas…   Follow the founders at @neb, @randometc, and @jandersen.

Practically Speaking

Sadly but predictably we need to turn off the servers that power our Biologic app, and its web-based sibling Fizz, so those apps will cease along with Bloom itself in the next few days. We don’t store much in the way of personal data but anything we do have will be deleted and the app permissions will be revoked.

We will keep Planetary available in the App Store for as long as we possibly can, and as individuals (with some help from our friends) we’ll be seeking a safe way to preserve it for future devices and platforms. Watch this space!


Bloom Announces Seed Funding Round, Led by Betaworks

Playful visual discovery application platform secures seed round funding from Betaworks, SV Angel, and Individual Investors

San Francisco, CA.  April 11, 2011

Bloom Studio Inc. today announced the closing of a seed round of funding led by Betaworks with participation from SV Angel. Additional investors include Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr. The terms of the financing were not disclosed.

“Betaworks is more than just an investor” said Ben Cerveny, founder and president, Bloom Studio. “Their insights into the landscape at the intersection of culture and technology help us focus on the big opportunities.”

Bloom is rolling out a series of engaging and playful applications on iOS and web platforms that make social media and streaming media datasets easier to explore and understand. Their first applications will be available in the iOS app store later this quarter.

“We are very excited about the vision of Bloom.” said John Borthwick, CEO of betaworks, “At betaworks we have built some very large real time data sets, including bitly, chartbeat and socialflow. Bloom’s vision of turning real time social data into dynamic visual objects is a vital part of the future. These objects will let users understand, navigate, play and use datasets in whole new ways”

Bloom has already begun to demonstrate the kind of fluid playful discovery it’s applications will bring to everyday online activities like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These preview experiences can be found on http://bloom.io or directly at http://fizz.bloom.io and http://cartagr.am. Forthcoming “instruments”, as the small, playful applications are called, will focus on discovery within streaming audio and video services.

About Bloom Studio:

Bloom Studio was founded in July of 2010 by data science and visualization experts Ben Cerveny, Tom Carden, and Jesper Andersen. Ben has designed products and services ranging from mobile operating systems to massively multiplayer online games to amusement park experiences, and brings a 15 year industry perspective on dynamic visual application design. Tom Carden was previously a lead visualization designer at Stamen Design, a celebrated visualization studio. Jesper Andersen comes from Trulia, where he was Product Manager for Data and Econometrics. They are joined by Creative Director Robert Hodgin, who was a founder of the Barbarian Group and has created some of the most compelling generative art works in the medium. His portfolio can be seen at http://roberthodgin.com/

Please visit http://bloom.io and http://blog.bloom.io for more information and follow us on twitter at @databloom

Press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/4/prweb8289248.htm


In Bloom

Welcome to Bloom!  Our mission to bring you a new type of visual discovery experience is already underway. We’re building a series of bite-sized applications that bring the richness of game interactions and the design values of motion graphics to the depth and breadth of social network activity, locative tools, and streaming media services.  These new ‘visual instruments’ will help you explore your digital life more fluidly and see patterns and rhythms in the online services you care about. And they’re coming to a tablet, media console, or modern web browser near you!

Fizz on bloom.io

We’re excited to invite you in to our newly redesigned site at bloom.io, where we’ll be showcasing the first instances of the experiences we’re designing, starting with Fizz and Cartagram.  What is important to realize about these, as with all of our coming applications, is that they are the foundations of a constant flow of ongoing iterative development, much like video game franchises.  As a participant in the Bloom Network, you’ll be presented with an ever-changing, ever-increasing variety of views onto the world’s most popular web services like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, youTube, Netflix, Dropbox, Instagram, and so forth.  Some of these instruments will be lyrical, some playful, some analytic, many of them combinations of all three, but all will provide compelling and engaging handles on the information that matters to you most, each one evolving and improving over time, building on your understanding of its performance. Starting later this year, you’ll find these instruments on iOS and Android devices, like tablets, phones, and media consoles in the home.

In order to make these experiences possible, many of which will use the latest in 3D graphics, simulation, and data modeling frameworks, we’ve brought together quite a team.  I’m particularly excited to announce that we’ve most recently been joined by our new Creative Director, Robert Hodgin.  For those not familiar with his work, please take a moment to browse his portfolio at roberthodgin.com or his blog at flight404.com, and you’ll quickly see why we’re so enthused to welcome him to the team.

still from Solar Rework by Robert Hodgin

His dynamic visuals have backed musicians performing on tour like Peter Gabriel and Aphex Twin, and he designed the popular Magnetosphere music visualizer in Apple’s iTunes.  He is the foremost implementer of Cinder, a C++ graphics framework that underlies much of our work, and is engaged in constant investigations of emergent complexity in generative design, much like the rest of us here at Bloom.

We’re very excited about what lies ahead in the coming years.  The ways in which people interact with computation are changing swiftly as we move into more casual relationships with our digital services on tablets, big screens, and across social networks.  We believe we have some compelling answers about how digital experiences will evolve into these new contexts.  Please, follow along with us and explore these playful, dynamic instruments of discovery together.


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