THIS BEING IDEALOG’S
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.