EXPEDIA DREAM POD
Virtual Reality has proven to be one of the most effective technologies in the treatment of depression and other psychological issues encountered by those enduring extended hospital stays. For children with many forms of cancer, however, the goggles normally used for VR journeys are not viable.
Expedia and 180LA presented SMITH with this conundrum. How to provide kids the valuable and exciting VR experience without the health risks associated with goggles. SMITH’s answer was The Dream Pod. A space age shell large enough for three people (including wheelchair) housing an internal technology platform that provides 360 degree immersive video. Kids can fly through the Grand Canyon or dive in the Great Barrier Reef in a germ free and non-equilibrium challenging environment.
Care4Today is an online health system that allows Doctor-Patient interaction to highlight and track metrics in the treatment of Crohn's disease.
In order to highlight this, we were approached to build an AR experience to promote the technology in a patient led way. We worked with the agency and animated a series of narrative story sections, all based around the central character, Michael and his doctor. Each story point illustrated a challenge that Michael was having and subsequently able to overcome.
We felt the story pieces would work well in 2D animation, and they were triggered by markers on a model of a town centre. The mixture of the physical model, and the marker based story triggers were found to be highly successful in creating interest without needing a full VR experience or a complex technological setup.
The Build process
Model maker Ben Millar built the environment. Here are some images of the model as it began to take shape. We spent time analysing the model in order to ascertain the correct distances for the app to function, as we were aware of the physical proportions and needed to know how people would relate to the overall dimensions and height of the model.
The markers that were being used to trigger the content were designed and approved around the various story arcs in the piece. These were then made by the model maker. We utilized Vuforia target tracking to allow the app the recognize the correct trigger and playback the relevant content. These were designed in 3D and then fabricated by the model maker to this specification.
The Animation Process
The 2D animation was crafted using a combination of character animation and motion graphics. The motion graphic elements were designed to support the patient's journey and illustrate the support network available via the Doctor's HCP interface.
It was important to make sure the UX design echoed the design of the HCP portal. We kept this clean and simple, with some animated flourishes to make the app come to life.
The Main Event
When it came to show time, the build was deployed using a system that allowed for updates to be pushed on the day of the event if there were any last-minute changes. The model was a great draw for people and was a great device for leading people in to interact with the narrative content.
PTC | THING EVENT
PTC makes software used to design complex objects, like cars. After carefully considering how they might address the future of objects, PTC made a series of acquisitions in foundational Augmented Reality and Internet of Things technology. THING EVENT was their first announcement about how they had integrated those technologies to create an almost magical way of seeing objects, their histories, how they are made, and how to repair them.
SMITH was asked to develop a film to open the THING EVENT conference. We used objects constructed from paper as a metaphor to communicate the magic of the technology—how it brings complex systems to an easily understood, human scale. As they saw the world that the film opened up, the clients realized that there were many other places and ways to tell this story. SMITH suggested social media components and then the floodgates opened, with large format posters and a 20 foot sculpture of a jet engine resulting from their requests.
This was all possible to do ‘on the fly’ because of SMITH’s process which involves hi-rez image capture and data acquisition. This makes downstream executions for virtually any platform, possible.
Can an ad be a restaurant? Last summer, Kellogg's worked with SMITH, Journee and Christina Tosi from Momofuku Milk Bar to create a cereal bar in Times Square and an icon to brand it. By rethinking how you might eat cereal, Kellogg's created a destination restaurant. To help it stand out in the future world of Times Square, Smith designed and built them a 7 foot sculpture which fills their front window. The sculpture represents what happens when you mix Kellogg's cereals and Christina Tosi's cereal creations - an explosion of bowls and spoons in ceramic and metal. Journee estimates that news around the restaurant garnered over a billion media impressions for the Kellogg's brand.
UNIVERSITY of TEXAS | PROJECTION MAPPING
AUDI | CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS
German car manufacturer Audi A.G. was looking for an idea that would create buzz at the Innovation Exhibition on Haixinsha Island in Guangzhou, China, and would celebrate the brand’s relentless innovations, particularly shedding light on Audi’s extra-light-weight technology.
SMITH artist Sebastien Leon worked in partnership with Marc Hungerbuhler from the Artist Network to create an installation like none other, to quite literally “reflect” the car and its unique light-weight features. A spherical room fifteen meters in diameter was filled with over a thousand silver foil balloons, some filled with air and others with helium, all reflecting a hypnotic image of the car, the room and its visitors. Floating on the ceiling, fifteen wireless speakers play an electronic symphonic dialogue of filtered industrial sounds mixed with the songs of thirty different birds.
Various versions of AR. Conference goers interact with a screen that adds characters into their environment and drive movement in virtual versions of themselves. An AR app that gives you the satisfaction of firing your favorite sandwich at someone and recording it to share, and a still life painting that comes to life and follows the rules of gravity.
Life is fragile. To demonstrate the delicate nature of hazardous work and the necessity for Bulwark FR’s protective clothing, we commissioned paper artist Jeff Nishinaka to build a huge paper sculpture of an industrial work site complete with oil derricks, exhaust manifolds, electrical cables and smoke stacks. After months of careful choreography and planning, we took that sculpture and burned it to the ground in a single take. That's how you build drama, and make a point doing it.
We worked with Nishinaka to design the sculpture in a way that would frame beautifully when the cameras started rolling. We used 3D software to previsualize the sculpture and plot camera moves. This ensured that we properly captured the action, because there would be no second chance to burn the model.
The resulting film was heralded as a bold and exciting piece of advertising in the New York Times “Media Decoder” column.
A big part of this project was the story of how we made it. To capitalize on the potential earned media we extended the experience online with a documentary piece featuring Nishinaka discussing his process and time-lapse footage of the build itself.
CHIPOTLE CULTIVATE | AR APP
Chipotle was interested in bringing an augmented reality experience to their Cultivate festival series. SMITH was asked to explore what this AR experience could be, how it would fit into the festival experience and ways it could be extended to other brand activations. From early in the process SMITH highlighted the necessity of generosity with users. Because the app had to be downloaded to work, it would need to give enough back to the user to be worth the the time spent installing it. To that end, downloading the app enabled users to access festival wifi for free and gave them access to an augmented reality map. The living map displayed the user's current location and relevant data, like who was performing on the main stage and where the nearest bathrooms were located. Animations showing the current weather and bringing other aspects of the map to life added visual interest and the opportunity for delight. The map was initially designed to use a stamp as its anchor point, this ultimately proved unworkable and we switched to the event badge itself. The app included a camera that could "see" geolocated computer generated features—the goal here was to allow users to take selfies with graphic elements lifted from the map itself and share them over social media. Finally we examined how the app could work in Chipotle's store and with their packaging to continue to tell the brand story after the festival had ended.
CANNES LION ROAR
We highlighted our latest interactive offering at Cannes with a custom facial tracking demo. Users were able to control a CG Cannes lion face utilizing the latest marker-less facial motion capture techniques and real time rendering. Users sat in front of a camera and the technology transferred their facial movements onto the virtual lion avatar in real time.
DOLCE & GABBANA | LIGHT BLUE EMOJI
Spring Studios came to SMITH to develop a custom set of Emoji and an app for their client, Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue fragrance. The emoji set was designed as part of a broader Light Blue Summer campaign that was meant to create some back and forth between the brand and its consumers. In addition to the app, users shared emoji sequences and photos of their summer fun in the Brand's social channels. Light Blue encouraged this through advertising online and out of home that featured the emojis. The design of the emoji set reference's a summer getaway on the island of Capri and included scooters, sun hats, aperitifs, and sun tan oil, as well as emoji versions of Light Blue's models. Wherever possible we used a light blue highlight color to call back to the brand. One big concern was that the emoji characters look like they would be at home on the iPhone emoji keyboard. in developing the style of the illustrations a great deal of attention was paid to the visual standards and motifs apple's emoji designers use to create the "iPhone feel."
RESIST STICKER PACK
We created this sticker pack for iMessage as an experiment—to see if we could design a contribution to the resistance of the trump agenda. We believe communication tools can impact the conversation and that stickers & emoji are part of a new vocabulary. You can download the sticker pack from the app store here: https://appsto.re/us/O5tOkb.i
SANTI GOLD | CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF MYSELF
Santi Gold and her Label asked SMITH to examine how the music video for Can't Get Enough of Myself could work as an APP. SMITH creative technologist Ezra Miller worked with the the video's director to develop an interactive video that used the playback device's camera to insert the viewer onto the various surfaces and objects that Santi Gold is interacting with. Crucially, the video needed to be able to work as both an interactive piece and as a traditional linear video for distribution on Youtube. The interaction here is more than just a bit of fun, it is meant to reinforce one of the theme's of Santi Gold's upcoming album, titled 99¢, that "Everything is a product at this point, including people and relationships." We think this video begins to scratch the surface of how musician's releases are changing. As major artists transform from musical acts into brands they will begin to need media expressions across multiple platforms that are cohesive enough to tell a complete story.
You can see the interactive video here. Be sure to give the link permission to use the web camera on your laptop and you too can be a part of her video. If you'd rather try it on mobile, head over to the app store and search 'Santigold'.