This kind of project is very close to me. Being a person who is very passionate about all kinds of technology, past, present, and future, I was excited to see what I could come up with. My research covered a lot of different things from augmented reality to physical devices; those that changed the course of history, and those that could become part of our future. It was my desire to seek as much information about emerging technologies as I could, that led me to discover and better understand what would become my final product, Google Cardboard. My research shows my journey towards this conclusion, starting from the realisation of how augmented reality has immersed consumers into a digital world, where products are not only being sold on their physical value, but there digital value as well. It allowed me to see how emerging technology can entice consumers to get involved and feel like they are a part of a unique experience. Where once virtual reality was a pipe dream, it has become more apparent over recent years that this dream is now a reality.
Although I feel my research has covered a range of new media technologies, I do believe I may have focused a bit too heavily on certain areas. Augmented reality has been one such area. Up-and-coming technology another. Focusing on a wider range of research may have helped me produce more ideas. Perhaps focusing less on tech, and more on contemporary ideas of self promotion and the ways of making this possible, may have resulted in looking at this project from a different angle. I do believe though, that my end result says a lot about me as a designer; the way I think about the future, and my passion for it, and that my research and my initial excitement towards this project has led me to my final result.
This project has given me the opportunity to explore a range of ideas about the future, and led me to start thinking about how I could use what is being made possible today, and predict how it could be used for self-promotion over the years to come. It led me to think about how graphic designers could promote themselves with the emerging technologies of today. One such product was that of Samsung’s flexible mobile screen. Although it is a reality of sorts, it is not something that is commercially available, nor do we know when or if it will be something that will exist in the future. But coupled with the finding of Microsoft’s Productivity Future Vision, it became clear that this is something that others are predicting as well, and this in itself led me to think on a more personal level, and how I would use such an emerging technology.
If it were possible, I would have designed and produced an interactive business card, but this simply isn’t feasible. The very idea of it though shows my way of forward thinking. It involves my love of tech, my interest in UX and GUI design, and just as important, my current work. I feel that creating a video of this nature hasn’t just promoted what I do, but it has covered other important areas about me as a designer.
During this project I had struggled with what I do now as a designer, and how I could promote it. My current portfolio includes a lot of typography and print-based work, and I found this difficult to show in, what I wanted to be, a new technological way. Again, I believe my research surrounding more contemporary ideas would have helped, and focusing less on emerging technology may have produced more variations of concepts. It was though, my way of thinking about how I couldn’t produce what I really wanted to, that helped me understand that I could use this sense of feeling for my self-promotion campaign e.g. ‘This is what I can do (todays business cards), but this is what I want to do (future interactive business cards)’. This initial feeling became the focus for my video, but at the same time had inadvertently given me the opportunity to promote my current work; the card had become a blank canvas and what better way than to fill it than with my own work.
My first-hand experience with Google Cardboard became invaluable to me, as it helped me to not only experience virtual reality, but to also better understand the concept behind it. It is such a simple product. It is cheap to make, can be produced by anyone, and is unique. It would become my physical hook and is something that I believe will work well. It can be easily made, and distributed, and once received I feel the recipient will want to get involved with it, because it is such a unique product. It also gave me the chance to personalise the device with my brand, and promote myself and my name from the outset. I have discovered from my time with Google Cardboard that it can become a great tool to deliver my video, and with clear instructions for the user, and with the initial test run of the device being the viewing of said video, I will have a captive audience. There is a chance though that the recipient may not want to go to the effort of typing in a URL, as would they may also not want to download a QR code app to read a code, but as in my initial idea of having an app to direct the user to my video, I sadly don’t have the knowledge to create one. Typing in a URL was the simplest solution, and in the knowledge that every smartphone has a web browser, the recipient would be more likely to do so.
My final video and physical hook both say a lot about me as designer, and I feel the two together will help me promote myself in a very unique way.
The final package including video and physical hook: