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Why Analog?

 

We asked our team “Why does Oat Foundry specialize in Analog technology?” We received a range of answers – everything from how we have old souls working at Oat Foundry to how the intersection of utility, responsiveness, and good design is great for the industries we work with. One answer sticks out though: “We believe screens dominate our everyday life and have created an ‘analog resurgence’. People are looking to convey information and art without the insipidness of a screen.” Not only is analog technology a very niche industry in the 21st Century – but it also gives us a story to tell like the one you’re reading right now.

Our Focus into Analog Technology

 

Almost a decade ago – yes we still can’t believe it – we rented a garage in Bensalem and fished for custom engineering and design jobs around the Northeast. We built everything from pretzel vending machines to furniture; ice cream packaging machines to a high-capacity coffee brewer. Most famously was Mark’s mini-golf course, but that’s a story for a different time. Fast forward a few years we landed a project with a client who needed a fun new way to display menu items in their restaurant – in this case, old means new. We built our first Split Flap and it just clicked for us. Some might even say it was a eureka moment for a budding company. From there we divided our time between building and further engineering our take on Split Flaps while simultaneously taking on a handful of engineering projects – we loved the idea of analog tech so in 2021 we decided we’re all in on the analog technology. We were no longer dividing time and solely focusing our energy on all things analog.

Oat Foundry team

Why Split Flap?

 

From its humble beginnings to its international presence, Split Flap has been the core of our business since we rolled out our first few boards in 2016. What comes off as such a simple idea is truly a very complex piece of machinery with tens of thousands of parts in every board. Just read what one of our team members thinks:

“It was one of the first truly multidisciplinary products we made + I think we all knew it was something special from the first time we saw it in our shop working. The nostalgia factor, the niche of the market and lack of competitors, the nature of the product itself lending itself to not too high a barrier to entry regarding development costs, and having a company like Honeygrow kickstart it.”

Seven years later and hundreds of signs worldwide it’s still the heart of Oat Foundry. With us finding new innovative ways every day to use it and partners to evolve the offerings with, we see it as a huge game-changer for countless industries and use cases. We love to start sentences with: “it’d be cool if Split Flap could…”

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Why Picture Flap?

 

As we started to roll out a range of Split Flaps – different colors, software integrations, styles, branding – we realized the product was still in its infancy. By 2019 our Split Flap client base grew and in turn, so did our capabilities. With this expansion and innovation, we brainstormed more ways to use Split Flap than just as an alphanumeric display. “Let’s put photos on a Split Flap” – this is one of the ideas that lead to the build. Soon after we got the idea, we landed a deal with Shinola to build the first-ever Picture Flap for their winter product line, but here’s the kicker, they needed it in just two months. We adopted this mentality to never say no – we’re engineers at the end of the day – so we built it. From concept to completion, we built and sold our second product from scratch – that felt damn good.

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Why Fast Box?

 

Fast Box is one of our company’s favorite products – not only because the freakin’ Philadelphia Eagles use it, but also because it was our third product to roll out to the public. What better way to get yourself in front of thousands of eyes than to pair up with an NFL team like The Birds. Let’s rewind – through some past connections, we linked up with the Equipment Manager of the Eagles and he came to us with a problem. “We need a new way to call our defense without the help of digital screens or queue cards.” Say less. We knew a Split Flap wouldn’t be light enough to lift over their heads so we looked toward a new analog tech called Flip-Dot. (Yes, there was indeed a new analog technology in the 21st century.) These displays offer a wide range of capabilities but in this case, we only needed to show off some numbers to the “D” while being visible from at least 50 yards away. “Well, what if it rains?” We built housing for the flip dot that would protect it in any weather elements from Tampa Bay to Buffalo. Now several years later the Eagles are still using Fast Box on their sidelines. Additionally, the New York Jets adopted Fast Box in their playcalling arsenal in 2021.

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Why Mellowtron?

 

Mellowtron is the newest addition of analog tech in our arsenal and the first cannabis-exclusive product. It’s a cannabis recommendation engine that takes the pain out of finding a strain – yes, it tells you what type of cannabis to smoke, vape, eat, etc, to achieve the exact high you desire. We like to say it’s a designer high. Mellowtron delivers a unique customer shopping experience that’s ideal for first-time cannabis users. The predictive algorithm will recommend the best product for the desired mood based on what’s in your dispensary’s inventory. Our goal is to bridge the gap between science and cannabis inexperience – building a gateway for all walks of people to find a way to enjoy cannabis. Mellowtron has already made its way from Philadelphia to Portland, Denver, Las Vegas, and New York City to debut some canalog tech – see what we did there? As a product in progress, we’re constantly looking to improve all parts of Mellowtron be it the design or function, and we can’t wait to roll it out into dispensaries across North America.

Go to Mellowtron
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