Jerome De Baecque
Dec 20, 2018

The role of tech in immersive experiences

The managing director of Spinifex Group on nailing digital storytelling.

The role of tech in immersive experiences

Ask the right questions

The first question is always: Who is your audience? Then what sort of story do you want to deliver? What is the experience you want to create? A lot of people start by saying they want projection mapping or they want VR, and how much will it cost?

But if you don’t have clear objectives about what you want the content to achieve first, it’s impossible to answer those questions. The fashion lifecycle of tech means people often want “the latest” without considering its usage. Digital content should not be an off-the-shelf solution where you change the colour then use it for a different product or event.

Create the content for the canvas

Last year, Sogo invested a lot of money building the largest LED billboard in Asia at its department store in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. It is gigantic, 70m by 20m. It is a success in that everyone wants to put their branding message there, but sometimes the content is not designed for such a massive space and just adapted from existing footage for regular screens.

When you move something from the left to the right, it travels 70m so if you do that in one second it looks like it’s travelling at the speed of a rocket when it is supposed to be someone walking.

Bring the story to life

When you add a physical element to a digital experience it has real value. That’s where the experience becomes really exciting for the audience because it’s an entire world you can immerse yourself in.

For the Pulse Light Show at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Hong Kong Tourism Board wanted a fully immersive projection mapping experience. We had a 50m-long LED dragon sculpture that people could activate by running on the spot in front of the sensors. The dragon would climb out the water, rotated around the Clock Tower and posed for pictures.

There were also live effects like bubbles being released at key moments and giant inflatables in the shape of characters in the animation, so when the audience was watching the show they were surrounded by elements connecting them to the story. 

Jerome De Baecque is managing director - Hong Kong at Spinifex Group.


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