Article in Fueled News, Under the Hood categories.

We Built an App to Electrocute Neil Patrick Harris

Leading tech product development agency, Fueled, created an app for NBC's Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. What did it do? Inflict pain, obviously.

Now, let’s just clear something up before we get into greater detail: Here at Fueled, we love Neil Patrick Harris as much as the rest of America. In no way do we personally wish to inflict bodily harm unto dear NPH. That being said, when we were approached by the producers of the hit NBC show Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris, which debuted September 15th, to develop an app that would be play a part in the electrocution of NPH, we couldn’t resist. We definitely couldn’t say no after receiving the graphic of what the app was intended to look like in the greater scheme of the production.

Best Time Ever app NBC sketch

In the weeks leading up to the episode’s premiere on October 6th, the product and software developers here at Fueled worked overtime to produce what we termed the “Best Time Ever Laser App”. Though unfortunately this app will not be hitting the Apple store or Google Play for your personal pleasure, it is equally, if not more amusing, to watch what we accomplished in an excerpt from the episode that also features Zachary Levi of Chuck and Heroes Reborn.

Our assignment was to create an app that would be used on a screen consisting of nine iPads that together formed the image of a lock. All screens would begin with their part of the lock image in red, but once touched would become a piece of the lock in green. It was the task of Patrick Harris and Levi to re-create the lock image in green and thus unlock the grid below for them to begin traversing the laser-ridden obstacle course. The catch: every laser in the course was synced to bracelets that NPH and Levi wore and would deliver a jolt of electricity when touched. According to an insider source at Fueled that attended a rehearsal, the shock was genuinely pretty painful.


As you can see from watching the clip above, our app performed perfectly. Working closely with the production staff and the rest of the crew, we were able to sync our app seamlessly into the episode.

The reward of this whole process was more than seeing our idea come to fruition and work flawlessly in the scheme of the whole production. It was more than seeing the Fueled name scroll onto the screen in the final credits. Just as satisfying as these was watching the muddled confusion of NPH and Levi as they attempted to figure out our puzzle and the small gasps of terror and pain that followed as they awkwardly contorted through the laser maze. Apparently more than 12 million viewers agreed.

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