Monthly Archives

February 2016

Interactivity in Contemporary Art

By | Blog

By making the audience a collaborator they forget they are an audience at all, it is at this point that immersion is possible.

The space is bathed in colour, time seems slower, the twinkling of stars somehow rendered audible. A site-specific installation, PRECESSION (screensaver) is Josefina Nelimarkka’s second solo exhibition. It is a technically ambitious work combining film, sound and an interactive constellation. Stereoscape are delighted to have been involved in both the conception and installation process, with our engineers devising the interactivity solution. Iona Roisin stopped by to see how it was all put together.

Inviting the Audience Inside

The focal point of the exhibition space is a large angled screen, over which washes a continually shifting plane of colour and abstracted shapes. Revealed to be fragments of pigments, they have been magnified so as to make them visible on a molecular level – almost becoming astral surfaces themselves.

Here the audience is invited to enter into the work, to navigate their way around a constellation of sensors, indicated in the space by soft spotlights, determining through their presence the sequence and length of the images on screen. Even if one chooses to avoid triggering the sensors, the drifting and hypnotic ‘screensaver’ will still play, allowing the audience to adopt both a passive and active position whilst still being immersed in the piece. There is movement, but the overall feeling is one of stillness, coaxing the participants into a process of collaboration, selection and reflection.

Our Role

There has long been an overlap between contemporary art and technology, in PRECESSION we see interactivity utilised in an innovative way that entices the audience and forges a memorable experience – and Stereoscape are proud to have been involved. Our engineers devised the best solution for Nelimarkka’s design, allowing the content to dictate the technical set-up. With site-specific works many of the details are finalised during the installation, particularly with interactive works the responsiveness of the sensors need to be tested in the space. Fine-tuning the sensitivity allows us to establish how close audience members need to get to be registered. A delay on the sensor picks up small movements so people of all heights can influence it. The participants can choose whether to stay still or move around, the footage will play for as long as the sensor is engaged and then continue if uninterrupted after the person leaves. This allows the participant to move around the constellation, to engage a different sensor or move closer to inspect the detail of the film – creating a physical montage.

Stereoscape’s engineers programed the software to accommodate this looping and layering so that engaging with the work is possible alone or in a group. At the opening I was intrigued to watch people interact. Some are impatient, some move into the spotlight and wait for the work to sense their proximity and shift scenes. Mostly multiple people stand under the sensors, waiting to see what they have triggered. This aspect of exploration creates a feeling of discovery throughout the process.

Why Interactivity?

Much art hopes to influence participation and engage with its audience, and utilising an interactive solution is one way to achieve this. By inviting the audience inside, the thematic aspects of the work are accessible in a different way. There are parallels between what art and advertising hope to inspire in their audience, which make interactive solutions relevant to both promotion and contemporary art. Interactivity creates a space for close engagement between audience and situation. In inviting them to make decisions and engaging their spatial memory a more meaningful and memorable experience is generated. It can be employed on multiple levels, from physical to virtual – the key element is participation. By making the audience a collaborator they forget they are an audience at all, it is at this point that immersion is possible.

PRECESSION (screensaver) is on at Sinne in Helsinki until 28.2.16

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www.josefinanelimarkka.com

 

– Iona Roisin

Virtual reality expands the dimensions of marketing

By | News

Stereoscape is featured in a two-page article in Markkinointi & Mainonta, which is the foremost marketing magazine in Finland. M&M’s reporter Mari Karjalainen visited our showroom and test drove our virtual reality solutions, to experience the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of Stereoscape’s virtual product demonstration tools – encountering everything from industrial design, to training, to the infamous Stereoscape ‘leap of faith’.

In the article, Karjalainen chats with our very own Jukka Vaittinen about all things virtual reality: storytelling, immersion, the holodeck and walking through a closed door ‘like in The Matrix.’

Click here to read the article (in Finnish).

The new era of retail

By | Blog

Are you ready for all that digital is bringing to retail (including better profits)?

From giant screens to virtual reality headsets – The retail space is changing

The opening of the new Burberry store in London’s Regent Street in 2012 placed the British luxury brand on the forefront of the digital transformation of the retail space. Since then, a lot of other retailers have also started to integrate online and offline. A German bicycle store Rose Bike Town being one of them. In its new store in Münich, it allows customers to design and tune their dream bikes using the in-store iPads. The results can be seen in 3D on large touch screens in the store. And all this while a video wall at the back of the store is showing content that communicates the brand values.

The TUI integrated concept store of the large European leisure travel group TUI Travel is another good example of integrating digital and physical sales channels. Large video screens on the storefront show high quality content to inspire and excite the customers (n.b. prices, offers or other uninspiring details are not shown on the screen). Inside the store, interactive maps and table sized touch screens are offered for searching the perfect holiday destination.

At Tommy Hilfiger store in New York shoppers were provided with virtual reality headsets. With the headsets, the customers were given a three-dimensional, front-row view of the Hilfiger fall fashion show. For Christmas last year, Burberry launched a 3D campaign on the screens of Piccadilly Circus allowing the visitors to interact with their mobile phones with the famous curved screens. The results – personalised scarves beamed on the giant screens – could naturally also be purchased, online or from the store in Regent Street.

From transaction to interaction – digital means better business

All of the above are examples of the new engagement, entertainment, enrichment, and interaction that retailers are attempting to create with digital in-store strategy. Burberry, TUI and others are integrating online and offline for a seamless shopping experience; consistent and integrated no matter what the point of contact – digital or physical – is. And while some of the examples might be more testing and identifying new platforms of interaction and engagement, there is a lot to it in pure business as well. For example, the TUI concept store showed such a clear increase in sales as well as the average spend in the store that the company soon decided to roll out the same concept and technology to it’s other stores.

TUI is not alone with better performance from the digital transformation of its retail space. A recent study made by the Boston Consulting Group showed that the digital leaders in retail are outperforming their peers that have not yet implemented a digital strategy. In the BCG survey, the 25 fashion retailers in Europe and North America with advanced digital strategies and implementing digital technologies in stores were showing a clearly stronger EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) growth than companies not implementing a digital strategy.

Start-up co-operation or third-party developers – digital innovation is accessible for everybody

The opening of Burberry’s flagship store created a big buzz in the retail industry in 2012. What then seemed possible and available only for a large luxury brand is now available for everybody. The BCG study shows that even smaller investments can deliver good results. Affordable solutions are available for every size of business to use. In many of the examples of successful digital strategy, the solutions were made together with third-party developers – often innovative start-ups. With this kind of co-operation it is possible for even smaller retailers to launch an in-store digital strategy. In-store digital doesn’t necessarily need to mean in-house. In fact, today even the bigger companies often work together with start-ups to keep up with the latest technologies and innovations.

Independent agents like we at Stereoscape have the possibility to speed up the development. Not bound to established ways of working, but instead quick to embrace new technologies, we have the possibility to work as technology accelerators for our clients. Because the truth is that a web page or Facebook or twitter account won’t count for a digital presence anymore.

The new era of retail is already here; it’s technically possible, accessible, affordable, and it is good for your business. What are you waiting for?

– Helena Pekkarinen, freelance writer

 

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