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.
Twenty years ago, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 6,368,268: "Method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks," a minor classic of a majorly fucked-up genre, the bullshit tech patent that simply adds "with a computer" to some absolutely obvious and existing technology or technique.
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