David Gram, LEGO – how to stay ahead of the game

In 2011, 63% of all 6-9 year olds in USA had access to a smart phone. In order to thrive, LEGO needed to find a way to take advantage of this technology. David Gram, Business Development Manager, LEGO talks with pride about how they did this at Reconnect 1 2012.

Originally LEGO had a brick. Over the years they developed a wheel, a mini figure and a dice. Then there was the Life of George.

George likes to travel. While he’s abroad he takes photos to put in his album. Like other kids today, he likes to share them with his friends. The mobile phone app follows George’s travels round the world. He starts in Hawaii. Players click on an empty square in the photo album and are given a picture to make out of the accompanying actual LEGO bricks. The example David shows is a cocktail. Once completed, players put the model onto a special play mat and scan it back into the phone. They get a round of applause and a score based on speed and accuracy.

This new way of gaming evolved from pre-existing facial recognition technology. Nothing new was created. It was simply a case of LEGO being open to the opportunity. From that point everything progressed quickly and cheaply. LEGO were the first company to combine the use of technology with a physical toy. They won many awards. But more importantly, the crucial thing about this app is that LEGO now has a device which can recognise bricks. This has no end of possibilities for them.

In 2012 Walmart said, “The future of play is trending towards a seamless integration between a physical toy and digital add-ons”. The Life of George was not only ahead of its time but also started a gaming revolution.



David Gram was a key speaker at Wavelength Connect event Reconnect 1 June 2012. To view more videos from this event go to Reconnect 1 June 2012.

Click on the link to view more videos from David Gram.



LEGO is a popular line of construction toys manufactured by The LEGO Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company’s flagship product, Lego, consists of colourful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts. Lego bricks can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots. Anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects.

LEGO began manufacturing interlocking toy bricks in 1949. Since then a global LEGO subculture has developed, supporting movies, games, competitions, and six themed amusement parks. As of 2013, around 560 billion LEGO parts had been produced.