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How We Made the World's Biggest Multi-Sensory New Year's Eve Celebration

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Working closely with Vodafone and the Mayor of London, the ambition for London's 2013 New Year's Eve celebrations was our biggest challenge to date: for the greatest number of people in human history to have a simultaneous multi-sensory experience.

As a world first, it was a project far bigger in scale than anything we've ever attempted before.

Creating a multi-sensory experience for tens of thousands of people on the ground and millions of people watching from home, has been both thrilling and terrifying.

And we did it. Hurrah.

Around 50,000 people in the centre of London got to taste, touch, smell and hear the New Year celebrations (as well as see them).

Our epic journey to make it happen began six months ago.

It is part of Vodafone Firsts, which is about using their technology and connectivity to empower people to do something remarkable for the first time.

In fact, ours was the first First - so quite an honour!

London is already synonymous with spectacular fireworks, yet after some research we discovered that they have remained largely unchanged since the 15th Century (save for digital firing). We thought it was high time for some pyrotechnic innovation.

Fruit - the theme of the display - was our major starting point.

Why? Because it's universally understood, enjoyed and easily recognised. This was very important because it's estimated that around 70% of visitors to London's NYE celebrations are from overseas.

And, fruit is hard to beat when it comes to creative and visual appeal.

We're also both slightly obsessed with fruit. We like to spend our spare time exploring and discovering new varieties of fruit. There is also a sense of wonder when you think about the massive social, cultural and biological implications of a simple fruit like the banana.

From the word go, fruit felt right.

By combining the fireworks with choreographed fruity flavours and special effects like orange bubbles and peach snow, we knew we could thrill tens of thousands of people in a way that had never been done before.

That meant sniffing a lot of fruit and working with food technology experts and pyrotechnicians to create things like banana-flavoured edible confetti, giant orange-flavoured bubbles and fruity mists.

We also got to work with flame-throwers, fruit farmers, food scientists and historians. We tracked down the world's best tasting strawberry and entered a chamber of wonders; the flavourist lab which houses over 2,000 flavours!

It was a great adventure.

The joy of working on a project like this is being able to collaborate with all sorts of experts and applying their specialist knowledge to achieve an effect that everyone can enjoy.

Working with on this world first project has meant that technology played a crucial role in the experience.

Flares and fireworks are some of the earliest forms of communication technology known to man. So there's a glorious history of fireworks and technology being interlinked.

Vodafone's technology helped connect a range of experts involved in the special effects and pyrotechnics. Moreover, the flavours were fired digitally across the crowd of thousands. We also worked with them to create the London New Year augmented reality smartphone app, which allowed people to enjoy the multi-sensory experience from home.

All in all, it was a blast.

One of the proudest nights of our lives.

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