London design firm Berg and the London office of the Japanese ad agency Dentsu have announced a line of augmented reality toys called Suwappu. The little figurines have swappable heads and bodies; depending on how they're configured, they interact differently and draw different environments for themselves in the augmented reality world.
Suwappu is a group of characters that can take lots of different forms. Primarily (or initially), the toys seen in the film - a set of collectible and swappable figures, readable by connected devices, opening up a layer of content. The Suwappu's head signifies his personality, and his pants signify his environment - the app produces content according to its reading of each half.
Beyond these toys, we think Suwappu is a new kind of content platform, with various exciting social, creative and commercial possibilities.
Our project name for this has been Haitsu. Haitsu is the art of hybrid communications, a made-up idea that we find useful. It's a little bit philosophical (the belief that combining advertising, content, media and product is the future of communications), and a little bit practical (looking for interesting hybrid clashes, like analogue and digital). Project Haitsu is part of the Making Future Magic series of collaborations.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.