When it comes to Creative Technology it’s easy to assume that new means better, but as digital OOH veterans we know that’s not always the case. We’ve used old and new technology over the years and have found positives and negatives to both.

Our approach has always been to use the best technology to enhance creative stories, rather than to use tech as a gimmick, we’ve never seen this work well. While new technology is exotic and enticing, there are still many benefits to using older tech. Older tech is often more basic and therefore offers fewer barriers to entry and any potential limitations are usually well documented.

In 2017 we were tasked with creating an interactive digital OOH campaign for ITV’s, The Voice. To promote the show’s brand new coaching line-up for ITV, we wanted to have the Voice coaches sitting in their famous red chairs with their backs facing the public. Each time a shopper passed close by, the content was triggered and the chairs spun around to reveal the all-star cast. In order to make this happen, we repurposed technology from the 1950s. Passive infrared sensors, or PIR sensors, are an electronic sensor that measures infrared light (or heat) radiating from objects in its field of view. You will most commonly find this tech in burglar alarms and automatically activated lighting systems. And this turned out to be the best tech solution to bring our creative idea to life.

For an alternative example, LEGO Star Wars wanted to entertain shoppers with an Experiential campaign that invited users to “Master the Force”. We needed a solution that allowed participants to engage with on-screen LEGO sets in a digital OOH game. The gesture-sensor technology we employed was a brand new, crowd-funded piece of tech called Orbbec (similar to the Microsoft Kinect) and was still in development when we incorporated it into the activation. The camera had the ability to recognise and track joint movements in 3D, delighting users as they battled against the clock to become a true Jedi Master.

New technology is often accompanied by the fear of the unknown. When it comes to older tech there is a sense of comfort and familiarity which seems to ease concerns. Whether it’s old tech or new tech, ultimately we need to encourage creative-led solutions that enhance the creative story and leave the gimmicks behind.

If you’re curious about creative tech then you should definitely check out our thoughts on facial recognition and some other cool stuff we’ve been working on!

Technology Grand Visual Digital OOH
At Grand Visual we are always searching for new, creative uses of technology and original campaigns. The intention of this new monthly instalment is so you get to know people from GV a little better. Each month varying people from around the business will be sharing things that we’ve worked on and loved, new technology we’ve been looking at and thoughts on how it could be applied within digital OOH.

“The cool aspects of the Star Wars movies was being able to use “the force” (telekinesis) to move things around and of course the space battles.

With this game, it has incorporated both aspects and combined it in an organic way. If you’re feeling heroic you can select the light side and help build lego ships to defeat the evil empire and if you want your inner Darth Vader to be revealed you can join the empire and help defeat the rebels.

What I found about the game was how smooth the camera was able to capture you and your movements. The icon would snap to your marker and the longer you held it the more points you gained.

The sound /effects also play a big part as it helps to make you more engaged in the game and you find yourself becoming quite competitive especially when playing with others.

There’s also a nice little selfie you can take of yourself with the characters which I think kids will love.”

All about real-time motion capture – STEVE, CREATIVE

Creativity digital ooh

“Real-time motion control systems are extremely close to becoming an affordable reality. Whilst researching for a brief that came in, I’ve found some really interesting products.

A small team in Cambridge, England worked on the motion capture for a PS4 game called Hellblade. Seeing the game I thought the motion capture was amazing… now I’ve learnt that it can be done in real-time!”

The real-time motion capture behind ‘Hellblade’ – endgadget

Qlone; 3D scanning app – ADAM, MGFX DESIGNER

creativity digital ooh


“This 3D modelling technology is incredibly cool. To go from clunky scanners to a super-fast, scalable, real-time app is quite unbelievable. And the fact that you can use the AR view to beam your models back into the real world feels very futuristic.

It’s really exciting thinking about how this technology can be applied on a larger scale in digital OOH. Because the app is so quick, it could potentially improve production speeds or even be gamified.”

Key features of Qlone scanning app –  Qlone

Evolution of the World Cup ball – RIC, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Creativity Digital OOH

“For all those wrapped up in World Cup fever, did you ever wonder why the design of the football looks the way it does?

Well… even if you hadn’t thought about it, here’s a lovely bit of motion graphics from the people at The Guardian, in one of their great explainer videos.”

T-model to Telstar 18: the evolution of the World Cup ball – video explainer – The Guardian

AR demo integrating with real-world objects – ED, PRODUCER

Creativity Digital OOH Augmented Reality

“If some people are willing to make long treks to obscure places to catch rare Pokemon, why not go one step further and have them run around to try and catch them when they get there? Looking at Niantic’s latest demo at least it seems that could be the case.

What makes this demo particularly exciting of course is that the technology driving this is more aware of the environment, particularly the depth (or z-axis) allowing the Pokemon (or whatever augmented item is placed in the scene) to be obscured by any real-world object that is placed between it and the camera. Up until now, a common problem is that the illusion of augmented reality can be easily broken by such objects and so special consideration to avoid this had to be made when designing AR experiences. With this limitation potentially removed more exciting opportunities that were never possible before could become an option.”

Niantic shows off a stunning AR demo that lets Pikachu hide behind real-world objects – The Verge

LEGO star wars augmented reality
To follow on from the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, LEGO has launched a digital OOH campaign, inviting shoppers to “Master the Force.” The experiential campaign uses on-screen LEGO bricks to build galaxy fighters, and promote the latest characters and brick sets tied to the Star Wars anthology.

Gesture sensor technology enables passers-by to engage with the on-screen LEGO sets, with users prompted to choose a side, and start building the spaceships of the new galaxy. The goal is to win the ultimate accolade of becoming a true Jedi Master, so the faster they build, the higher the score. After the game, there’s the opportunity for participants to ‘take a photo with the crew’, encouraging social sharing and amplifying the reach of the campaign.

Mark Phillips, Developer, Grand Visual, comments:

“It was fun developing the game using new camera technology which is still in development. The camera has the ability to recognize humans and can track joint movements in a 3D space, in essence, it’s an updated version of the Microsoft Kinect. The camera has incredible sensor technology, and is able to capture the movements of the player without confusing them with people in the background who are not involved in the game.”

The campaign was a collaborative effort, conceived by Initiative, with production, animation and interactive build by Grand Visual. Media planning and buying by Initiative and Rapport. The week-long Application runs on large-format Limited Space screens at busy shopping malls Bluewater and Newcastle Metro Centre from the 28th May.

Ric Albert, Creative Director, Grand Visual, said:

“Immersive experiences created with strategic use of creative technology allow the customer to get hands-on and explore LEGO’s latest products in a fun and memorable ways. At the end of gameplay the photo op then broadens the audience by encouraging people to share their picture online with family and friends.”