Recently Noticed…

At the beginning of the semester, each student shared something they recently noticed in digital or interactive culture…

My sister recently got a job at Mother NY, an independent advertising and marketing company that works to give creative solutions to their clients. To get a better idea for the company, I decided to look on their website. They have a great portfolio of creative, interactive work done for a variety of clients. The two that stood out the most for me was their work for James Patterson and Virgin Mobile.

For famous thriller author James Patterson, they decided to do something new to add more intensity to reading one of his novels. They made a self destructing book. With only 24 hours to read, it added more intensity to the usual reading experience in addition to making it more interactive and immersive. 1,000 copies were released, all connected to each other. Each reader could sabotage the other, by stealing and gaining time. James Patterson also promoted the book over social media, that also, appropriately enough, were self destructing. This is an example of great marketing to make reading much more of an interactive experience.
Another example is their work for cell phone retailer, Virgin Mobile. Advertisements can be dull and fail to connect with their audience. To change this, Mother attempted to create a more immersive and interactive advertising experience. To do this they utilized webcam’s to bring consumers more into the content. The advertisements played like a typical ad. However, every time the audience blinked, the scene of the ad would change. Conversation and dialogue would continue but it would be of new characters in new places and environments. The campaign drew a lot of attention and worked well, creating many unique impressions among consumers.

CHRIS:    One particularly surprising and interesting piece of interactive technology (among others) that I saw recently is found at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences which I visited last month. The interactive exhibit was housed inside a special unit of the museum called the Naturalist Center. This center was special because it featured many real specimen bodies, furs, skeletal systems, molds, organs, and more which could be handled and examined by its visitors to learn more about them.

The digital interactive portion of the Naturalist Center were 2 raised white tables on the far side of the room. Behind these surfaces were more shelves and tables which housed many different smaller organisms or parts encased in small black boxes. To learn more about the organism, the visitor must simply set the box on the front of the white table. Wooden step stools were placed in front of the white table for children. A wireless tag inside the box communicates with the white table telling it what the organism is, and relevant information is projected down onto the table from above. Using some sort of camera-read motion or hand tracking, different tabs on the right of the information can be ‘pressed’ (just by touching the table, no touch screen or actual button) which will then bring up more information such as what sounds it makes, where it can be found, what they eat, and more.

I was instantly surprised by this technology and wanted to know how it worked. It was simple enough for a little kid to use, but contained so much complex information in a simple format. It seemed to work like magic, suavely presenting the information on an easy to read display right in front of you. I’m sure this kind of interactive technology could be implemented in many different applications and fields for a wide range of uses to present information, stored in a faux-physical space.

MCKENZIE:  I explored the website Tangible Interaction and they have some very intriguing projects on there. The Digital Graffiti Wall in the Chanel store located in New York City really interested me because I absolutely love street art. Graffiti gives anyone the opportunity to express themselves and the fact that they were using a digital spray can takes it to a whole new level in the digital art world. I love that the digital art community keeps growing with new ideas and I’m very excited to see what artist, including myself, come up with in the future.

MELISSA:   The newest interactive work of art that I have seen and was in awe by was a wall piece at Disneyworld. When waiting in line for one of their rides, you tend to get bored. Disney has added interactive displays to occupy your time as you wait and make it a little more fun. One of these interactive displays was in the Peter Pan line. It starts out as bells that hang at varying levels and as you walk by or reach up, the bells move and make noise. They also have it switch to butterflies that flutter to you and land on you when you are in front of the screen and Tinker Bell flutters around as well. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any pictures or video of the display as we had too many people around.

It was the first time I had seen this type of display and I thought it was so unique and interesting, it made me curious to know how it worked. I had the privilege of getting to learn a little bit in Arizona of how that kind of technology works and it was cool to see. The digital world has grown so much over the years and it is fascinating to see what new things people can come up with. I enjoy being a part of this culture


CHARLES:    Bullet Time

In 2013, a small demo that was created in 7 days took the internet by storm. It was a simple concept that many found to infections and ingenious. Its premise was:

Time moves only when you move.

As long as you stood still, time moved at next to nothing; but move around, turn your head, or jump and time moved along with you. This changed the game from a standard action game to a puzzle game. Players were able to fulfill their action star dreams as you could literally watch bullets fly right by you in slow motion. The game exuded style as you slipped through streams of bullets. As you pulled off an insane chain of actions you would find yourself reciting the name of the game in a rhythmic fashion.


Fast forward to 2016, SUPERHOT had its full release, expanding on the original game’s concept. SUPERHOT has gained a cult following and you can already see its influence show up in other games. In fact, I myself was riveted by the idea so much that I have a mode in my game, anti|piracy, called SUPERDOT where time moves only when you move. It is one of the most innovative game design ideas I saw in 2016 and you will find yourself chanting:


You can watch the SUPERHOT trailer here: