Beyond the Gimmick: Telling Stories through 4D

The air was full of excitement in Austin. I was at SXSW for five days with my colleagues from London, and that was one of the best experiences in my life. People were sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and most importantly, living in this exciting era of emerging technology and endless creativity. Emotion sensors, Google X contact lenses, driverless cars, intellect robots, new ways of “making”, everyone is waiting for high quality sensors and connected wearable to become everyday experiences.


“Beyond the Gimmick: Telling Stories through 4D” was a talk hosted by DA Wallach, Chester French, Spotify Artist-in-Residence. The talk was about how 4D viewing transform the way people consume information. “I wear my Google Glass and people come over and ask me what it is.” said Katerina Markov, Head of Global Innovation from Atom Factory. Connected wearable is still quite intrusive now, but when it becomes a natural occurrence, it will be time for 4D viewing and Augmented Reality (“AR”).


Technology unlocks content.

Users can go wherever they want to and see more information. This means that content involves a sense of discovery and new ways of finding engagement through a psychologically applied user experience. Nick Lippman (Mgr, Lippman Entertainment) said it is the content and the experience that drives this engagement.


Devices are getting smaller, smarter and with sensors.

Brian Mullins, Founder & CEO of DAQRI said that devices are going to be able to generate content on the fly. Features and extensions of objects can be found on the go. Perfect devices for 4D will be those with high quality sensors. So to enrich user experiences, the next generation of technologies will detect subtle cues from our voices, expressions, gestures and intent, as devices become an extension of us.


Storytelling can be more immersive and engaging.

Technology can be cool for its own sake, but it must strive to go beyond the gimmick. AR may present us with a shoe floating off a page, but 4D will take it further, adding interactive elements that allow it to be explored from every angle. Using 4D and AR enable us to tell a story differently. You can change the perspective of the viewer and their overall experience. The strength of the medium is that users can change stories, allowing users to become the director of your film, for example. However, for some artists, the dominance of their vision is part of the personality (which is why SXSW Interactive and SXSW Film can never wholly replace each other).


Brian also talked about 4D has been used by brands that are willing to invest and recreate new relationships with their users. It is also a fast-growing space within industry such as manufacture, education and construction that is used to speed up processes and reduce costs. This panel has seen into the near future and prophesises that we will be immersed in endless possibilities of viewing and connecting with content.