When uruguayans get creative, disruptions happens
There is a big conference in Austin, Texas called The South by Southwest (SXSW) that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. And there is a groundbreaking innovation company in Montevideo, Uruguay called The Electric Factory that pursuits creativity and, why not, some magic.
Like a great good night story, one day that little boy that always dreamed to be a part of this huge SXSW festival, got that chance to be recognized: THEF is one of the 5 finalists (among Airbnb and Microsoft) in the category of: Innovation in Connecting People.
We talked about this historic moment with the company's director, Juan Ciappesoni. "It's like a dream come true. We are heading soon to texas and have this whole experience."
Smart Services: "Tell us more about how you came up with this project about Read to Me"
Juan Ciapessoni: "Pause for a second and picture this: you’re back in your childhood bedroom – the lights are dim, your eyelids are drooping, you’re all snuggled up next to your mom, grandpa, nanny. You lean into their steady, familiar voice as they read your favorite story out loud. You lose yourself in the quiet lull of their reading and drift happily off into sweet slumber – the nostalgia is thick, we know.
Now in that same scene, picture that instead of a book, you’re toodling away on a mobile app – dreamy scene suddenly loses a bit of its luster. Here’s the thing: recent studies have shown that year after year, children’s reading plummets while the use of apps, games, and social media continues to skyrocket. So we decided to do something about that. We partnered with children’s book editor EME to take back one of the most sacred spaces of childhood: bedtime stories.
We created Read to Me, an augmented reality (AR) solution that recognizes audible reading and converts it into a real-time animation, complete with sound, projected onto the bedroom wall. The animation incorporates every plot twist and page turn to bring the words to life in a radically new way.
Smart Services: "How did you come up with this idea?"
Juan Ciapessoni: "How did we do it? As always, we start with a deep understanding of human behavior, strategic thinking, and wild creativity. With the innovation already in mind, we utilized AR and the internet of things (IoT) to materialize that solution. Because as much as we love mobile apps, games, and social media, we believe in using technology in service of a more noble cause – in this case, helping return reading to its rightful place in childhood. And with that, we will hopefully all live a little happier ever after."
Uruguay in Austin, Texas
On March 9 - 18, Uruguay will be standing tall among other innovation giants. It's already a huge step, because The Electric Factory is the only company representing Latin America among the 65 finalists. On March 11th the results will be in. Fingers crossed!