SXSW Diary: Oculus Rift - Cam Blackley

tumblr_n28sfu5dAU1s7wjcuo1_1280.jpgBy Cam Blackley, executive creative director, BMF

I've seen, or should I say experienced the first game changer. At the Game Of Thrones exhibition you could try out Oculus Rift.

What a cool name right? This is a completely immersive sensory experience. You wear a head set that gives you 360 degree vision of whatever environment is programmed, and sound, plus they create environment conditions like wind. In this case, it was taking the elevator to the top of the wall. Oh my God. I had to grab onto something, other people were screaming. At the top of the wall you looked over the 500ft cliff and I almost threw up.
So, why is this important apart from being rad? Well, when these are common place in cinemas and later on in the home, we will be able to create brand experiences for consumers. They literally could become part of the programming for Ten, or they could walk a beach in Fiji. They could be in a car crash for an insurance company.

At the end of my experience I fell from the wall which was terrifying. And post removal of goggles my friend and I had a little trouble with spacial awareness. It's a brave new (fake) world.

tumblr_inline_n27dq4A5z91rh7r97.jpgSXSW Diary: Talk about a fish out of water

I read Rob Meldrum's opening line about his mind being blown. I think we are all feeling the same. Especially the Newbies.

There's so much going on here simultaneously at multi venues around the city that you are torn between which direction to take...

Go home marketing, you're drunk.

The Darknet Emerges.
Revenge of the cancer fighting nanobots.

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Monetizing Cat Memes.

The Internet of cars.

Then when you make a decision you bump into a freak wearing Goggle glasses. They call them Glassholes.  You get the picture. God I have seen some incomprehensible stuff. It broke my brain.

I'm getting the hang of it just as I'm leaving...

Interview With The Goggles: Immersive Storytelling was awesome and not because it uncovered some great interactive mystery. The Goggles are two guys that used to be the creative directors at Adbusters. Their art direction is very raw and human, I think the moderator used the word 'viseral' (pretentious). They are from a magazine publishing background that have taken linear storytelling into the online world. One of the points that really struck home was how they create work that engages people... Basically they avoid the temptation to create multiple layers and distractions in their work. Like a book they move forward, closing down the opportunity for people to wander away from their stories, (we all know how easy it is to click on links and before you know it you're lost in another bit of content, news story or website).  They just use NEXT/PREVIOUS style navs!!! What?! Yes, they keep it simple. I love this. It's particularly relevant to the ad world. By resisting the temptation to pull out every cool new trick we can keep the consumer with us. It's all blindingly obvious (Carlos Furnari and I were energized around this point) - it really helped to simplify how we should approach interactive marketing in my mind.

I did go to The Darknet Emerges I was more interested in hearing about it after the exposure of the drug dealing/weapons trading site Silk Road was exposed last year. Incidentally it made BitCoin famous - I wonder if the BitCoin founders did the exposing hmmm... their worth has skyrocketed and Google is going to buy them. Gotta love a conspiracy. So basically everything you do online is being watched, the darknet are pockets online where governments can't track transactions and conversations, they use encryptions etc to hide. Anyway I felt like a spy, I half understood what he was saying - the risk is that anyone or company can be blackmailed by governments in the future.

So, I immediately downloaded Silent Phone which scrambles your texts and calls so they can't be hacked, seen or stored. #takethatfeds

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon what started as a colleague game 20 years ago has become a social phenomenon 'pre-empting today's social online connections'. The bacon game allows you to see the how many degrees of separation there are between any actor and Kevin Bacon. It's kinda gamification from before that term existed. Kevin himself has now harnessed it to connect other actors to his charity -  smart. He also uses it to remind himself if he's worked with someone before because he's old. Funny, good to see Bacon but not overly insightful.

tumblr_inline_n27dssvDga1rh7r97.jpgWhat else?

This afternoon I watched a panel conversation called Beyond The Gimmick: Telling Stories Through 4D. 4D is Augmented Reality.

But best yet, I met Grumpy Cat. The meme turned moneymaker, and in turn I was popular on my own Facebook as a result. To be honest it was the highlight of the day yesterday.

I wasn't drunk; I had just been to a session on the future of digital painting, which was so dull it made my eyes bleed, but instead of daydreaming about beer, I got inspired. See image below.


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