THIS BE­ING IDEA­LOG’S

Idealog - - COVER STORY -

tech­nol­ogy is­sue, we wanted to find a way to use con­tem­po­rary tech­no­log­i­cal pro­cesses to cre­ate a cover that em­bod­ied the kinds of tech­nolo­gies that would be cov­ered within its pages. Could we code a cover? Au­to­mate the de­sign with an al­go­rithm? Get read­ers to down­load an app and make it come to life? Could we make it a holo­gram?

What­ever it was go­ing to be, we knew we didn’t know how to do it, so we asked Welling­ton-based dig­i­tal agency Resn if it wanted to take it over carte blanche – all we needed was the mast­head and the bar­code. We ex­pected that Resn would come back to us with some­thing that would move slightly on­line and was per­haps min­i­mally in­ter­ac­tive. We didn’t an­tic­i­pate a cus­tombuilt VR ex­pe­ri­ence, cre­at­ing what is al­most cer­tainly New Zealand’s (and, maybe, judg­ing by one fruit­less Google search, the world’s) first vir­tual re­al­ity mag­a­zine cover.

“VR presents a new field to play in,” says Resn cre­ative/strate­gist Gabe Mathieson. “The op­por­tu­ni­ties of this medium are vast and su­per ex­cit­ing, with Card­board be­ing an ideal way for peo­ple to get a taste of vir­tual pie.”

Wade Cowin, Resn’s cre­ative di­rec­tor, says the team fo­cused on a gen­tly paced, med­i­ta­tive ex­pe­ri­ence let­ting users ex­plore a sur­real and ab­stract space.

“Con­cep­tu­ally, we wanted to cre­ate a sense that the en­vi­ron­ment is aware of the user's pres­ence. Users have to gain the trust of this friendly yet timid ecosys­tem to be em­braced rather than feared. We wanted to give users the feel­ing of in­flu­ence and ef­fect in the vir­tual space rather than sim­ply be­ing a pas­sive spec­ta­tor. In­side this con­cept space, users who move sud­denly may scare in­hab­i­tants of the en­vi­ron­ment.”

But not ev­ery­one has a Card­board head­set yet, so Resn asked Auck­land com­pany Bend to build us some to give to our sub­scribers. And who bet­ter to help us bring the whole thing to fruition than Spark, a dig­i­tal-ser­vices com­pany that wants to fa­cil­i­tate beau­ti­ful, tech­nol­o­gyen­abled mo­ments, a per­fect de­scrip­tion of the world Resn has built.

Clive Ormerod, Spark’s gen­eral man­ager of mar­ket­ing, says the com­pany’s gen­uine am­bi­tion is to make New Zealand a bet­ter place through tech­nol­ogy and it has just re­leased a se­ries of sto­ries that show how the tech­nol­ogy within the Spark port­fo­lio en­ables Ki­wis to be en­ter­tained and con­nected, and also how Spark can help busi­nesses con­nect with cus­tomers.

“The best brands in the world, and the brands that keep go­ing from strength to strength, are the ones that make their cus­tomers feel some­thing,” he says.

So grab your de­vice, scan the QR code be­low (or metic­u­lously type in the URL), fold up your card­board head­set, put your head­phones on, ex­plore the world and feel some­thing.

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