Thursday May 10th 2018

Clever Breakfasts: Changing Realities with Nexus

 

This morning’s Clever Breakfast was hosted by Nexus Studios – a production company with a focus on animation, famous for work such as ‘Honda Grrr’.

 

Nexus have been at the cutting edge of new tech in the past couple of years, most notably with their AR app ‘Hotstepper’. Hotstepper is a demo for the new AR toolkit for iOS – a navigation app in which you’re led to your destination by a semi-clothed dancing man. Though odd, it’s definitely amusing, and was one of the first apps to make use of the new tech.

Nexus were also recently responsible for Google’s first ever 360-degree, interactive doodle – ‘Back To the Moon’ – an incredibly charming, beautifully crafted 2-minute story that’s definitely worth a watch. If that doesn’t pull on your heartstrings, check out Nexus’ work for the Gruffalo – an AR app called ‘The Gruffalo Spotter’. Seeing these classic characters come to life in the real world is sure to give you a little pang of envy that this tech wasn’t around when you were growing up.

 

Listening to the presentation it became clear that it’s no coincidence Nexus keep achieving ‘firsts’. Their extensive knowledge of developments in tech has clearly informed their work, letting them create using methods that often seem borderline magical.

 

After the reel of their work drew to a close, Nexus touched on areas they believe will change rapidly in the next few years. As we’ve covered in many of our Grab By The Horns mailouts, the barrier between the virtual world and the real world is getting smaller. As AR tech keeps evolving, wearables get smaller and more advanced, and hologram technology becomes better, we’ll see more overlapping of the virtual world into the real world.

Of course, this blending will be coupled with advances in machine learning. The artificial minds behind the new tech will be smarter, faster, and capable of more complex operations than are currently possible. Think medical robots who are able to diagnose you, prescribe medication, and perform surgery. Think tractors that can drive themselves, plant and water crops, and harvest autonomously. And who could forget self-driving vehicles – the revolution of personal transport is just around the corner.

 

The challenge for us, in this industry, is to figure out how this new tech will be useful to consumers, and how brands can leverage that utility. But more importantly, it’s to understand how this will be used in a day-to-day sense, not just what amazing one-off benefit it might confer. VR and AR stunts are fantastic, but we need to be pragmatic in our approach to new tech. As ever, our priority needs to be consumer benefit over business result, not the other way around.

 

Our thanks to Nexus for an illuminating and thoroughly entertaining Clever Breakfast!