Steve Berry

Principal at Thought Merchants Joined over 4 years ago

  • 24 stories
  • Posted to Design conferences are broken - but we can fix them, Mar 28, 2018


    0 points
  • Posted to Count: Real-time Shake Shack line counter., Jan 25, 2018

    Hi everyone! This is Steve and Dimitri, the creators of Count: a machine learning company looking to quantify the organic data inside photos, video, and sound. Anybody that has lived in Manhattan understands the dynamics of the Shake Shack line in Madison Square Park. We thought it would be fun to practice our craft quantifying the Shake Shack line in real-time as our first experiment. If you are interested in the technology or want to partner with us to quantify organic data sources email us at to start a conversation.

    Counting the number of people in a line outside is a challenge and there are a few steps to ensure an accurate prediction. First, the raw camera feed from Shake Shack observes the line, the park behind the line, and outside seating. The perspective captures a dense crowd with most bodies and faces obscured and therefore difficult to analyze with traditional machine learning models. In addition, the line is outside in the elements, with snow, inconsistent lighting, shadows, and even umbrellas.

    Count creates a density map predicting the likelihood of each pixel being a person, allowing us to then calculate the number of people in the entire frame. We then use another model to determine the line from the crowd: people waiting at the starting point, side by side. Being able to differentiate between a distant crowd and an actual line has its own set of subtle challenges.

    Feel free to read more about it on Dimitri's blog at

    0 points
  • Posted to New Typeface. F37 Bergman - a revival of Hans Möhring’s Florida typeface. , Jan 08, 2018


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  • Posted to iMac Pro Now Available, Dec 14, 2017

    I love this iMac Pro. Fantastic form-factor and performance for those that work with large-scale image manipulation.

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  • Posted to Chrome now defaults to rounded buttons?, Nov 10, 2017

    Any actual web professional should be using a CSS reset file. These sorts of changes from chrome have no impact on my workflow.

    12 points
  • Posted to What invoicing billing tools do you recommend for freelancing?, Oct 26, 2017

    I use Billings app It works great for tracking time, creating pretty invoices, and alerting you when invoices are due.

    0 points
  • Posted to Let's discuss the Apple X event, in reply to Darrell Hanley , Sep 13, 2017

    Apple design guidelines frown upon trying to hide the notch:

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  • Posted to Where do you find suitable users for testing and research?, Sep 13, 2017

    If you are in NYC near Madison Square Park, there is the Shake Shack line that takes 40 minutes to and hour to get food. Everyone is standing there with nothing to do so I rock up with a phone or tablet and do user testing right there. If someone is super helpful buy them food!

    The other is going to retail stores on Monday and Tuesday mornings when nobody is shopping. Be nice, offer to buy coffee and see if you can get them to do some impromptu user testing. They love not being bored and you get valuable data.

    I live in LA now so I won't tell you my testing secrets here....yet :)

    1 point
  • Posted to Let's discuss the Apple X event, in reply to Chris Aalid , Sep 12, 2017

    I think the notch does look really bad right now. The iOS UI has not come around to making it look will improve in time.

    People need to realize screens will not always be rectangular. This is the start.

    1 point
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