Few months ago Berg posted concept material for Suwappu, their toy design project with Dentsu. The project is based around woodland creatures that talk to one-another when you watch them through your phone camera, a form of AR. Whilst still only a concept at that time, Matt Webb has posted latest details on Berg’s blog including the iPhone app internal beta, where you can see Deer and Badger talk as you play with them. The app was developed by Zappar, whose AR technology brought Suwappu to life. Interesting feature but not new to CAN readers is camera recognition of objects without QR codes using only the faces design of objects the camera is looking at.
The real jewels of the Suwappu project are the stories that happen between these toys inside this new environment, one that moves around and behind the toy as you pan around the characters. As Matt describes:
Seeing the two characters chatting, and referencing a just-out-of-camera event, is so provocative. It makes me wonder what could be done with this story-telling. Could there be a new story every week, some kind of drama occurring between the toys? Or maybe Badger gets to know you, and you interact on Facebook too. How about one day Deer mentions a new character, and a couple of weeks later you see it pop up on TV or in the shops.
The real challenge will be making the technology work. Whilst story telling has fluency of moving between the characters quickly and cross referencing, it will be interesting to see how the AR technology keeps up with the narrative, ie avoiding the long delays and almost over cautious movement of the device so not to loose the tag. I nevertheless enjoy what Berg are doing, simultaneously exploring new forms of story telling using the tech and vice versa.
Posted on: 09/10/2011
Posted in: iPhone