iCruise Web App


Creative direction, art direction and app development


When Halliburton was ready to launch iCruise—a faster, more accurate and more efficient drill bit—they were looking for a way to engage trade show attendees, as well as capture emails for the sales team. Trade shows are notoriously chaotic, with lots of companies competing for limited attention spans.

We needed an idea that would have people flocking to Halliburton’s booth to willingly hand over their email address and learn about the iCruise. Our brainstorm? Create a series of fun games they could play on their phones for prizes. But there was a catch: trade shows have reliably sluggish WiFi. If we couldn’t surmount this obstacle, our plan would fail.

“The challenge of creating an app in a tradeshow environment is pretty significant, but we loved tackling it. We had to account for poor WiFi and the ability to handle potentially hundreds of participants at once, securely, with real-time results.”


In order to display scores on the leaderboard, each player entered their email at the start of the game, thus ticking off Halliburton’s most important goal right away.

The games were easy to play. Users simulated rotating a drill bit and drilling rocks in short matches, competing with one another for points. In between games, Halliburton gave brief presentations about the iCruise drill bit to their captive audience. When one game series ended, the player with the most overall points won a prize (a notch above the usual XXL trade show tee shirt, we hope).

(If you speak </>, read on. If you don’t, the gist of what’s written below is that we delivered super awesome performance, despite the trade show’s overloaded WiFi, because of our tech prowess.)

Overcoming the overloaded WiFi at the trade show was our biggest hurdle. To do it, we built a lightweight web client with React and powered our backend with Firebase’s real-time database. This stack allowed us to serve static files over a CDN for the fastest experience possible on the trade show floor, and we delivered a great user experience with a shorter implementation time, building the game from concept to completion in under six weeks.

Firebase’s real-time database allowed us to keep all the players in sync, while an admin panel let us start and stop rounds and move players through the game—all in real time, all almost instantaneously. And it could scale as big as Halliburton needed it to without players experiencing lag or degradation.

Piecing together the tech we needed to deliver a top-notch game experience took looking at creative development solves. Good thing we always love a good tech challenge.