Amplified Publishing Category
Beaming in the future of dynamic, personalised immersive publishing
by Richard Godfrey
In 2008, we created a startup called KoodibooK. It was all about amplifying publishing through the use of technology and like many startups it was a “failure” despite the technology being better in many respects than that found in today’s self publishing products. Our intro video remains here KoodibooK in 30 seconds - and yes, my voice-over skills are still awful!
Since Koodibook, we’ve built and invested our time in hundreds of digital applications over the last decade. Many of them can be considered “failures” too, but we look at everything as an opportunity to learn. With KoodibooK, we learnt that awesome tech is not what creates adoption, that taking angel investment and returning nothing is painful, that offering customers ultimate choice is paralysing, that product development takes more multiples of time and money than you expected, etc. We also learnt that we were great at understanding customer needs, designing amazing products, developing quality applications - so that’s what we’ve done since.
R&D is all about learning and that is why the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D process is so important to the region and why Rocketmakers applied to be an industry partner. Our projects typically have three things in common - innovation, quality and purpose - which means we focus on projects that have something genuinely new and unique, where we can “build the right product” and then “build the product right” and where the end result truly improves the world we live in. Amplified Publishing fits that mix and we have managed to extend our “Beam” product through the R&D activities and exposure to the amazing people in the programme.
Beam has been incubated in Rocketmakers over the last few years, with the last 18 months or so being assisted through an Innovate UK grant under the “Audience of the Future” banner. We saw an opportunity to change the way audiences engage in 3D experiences by being able to dynamically change those environments in real-time
R&D is about asking difficult questions, getting honest feedback and sometimes realising you’re going down the wrong path. The collaboration we’ve had has helped us to understand more and ultimately design and create a better product.
We believe that the future of publishing is digital and the future of digital is immersive, so the key question we wanted to explore with the Amplified Publishing cohort was “What will engaging, personalised immersive experiences look like, and how can we make that accessible to all content creators and digital publishers?”
We were specifically interested in exploring:
How can content be dynamically updated in immersive experiences, to give publishers and content creators the freedoms they have today for web and mobile?
How can immersive experiences be personalised with behavioural insights to respond to how users are behaving and interacting to enable deeper engagement? What analytics add the most value? How should data privacy around such analytics work?
What new monetisation and commercialisation opportunities could be enabled by this real-time immersive content delivery?
How can we help democratise access to the tools needed to deliver this future for the majority of immersive experience authors and publishers?
As an Industry Partner, we’ve loved having the opportunity to speak to and get feedback from such a diverse and capable Amplified Publishing cohort while delving into these questions. R&D is about asking difficult questions, getting honest feedback and sometimes realising you’re going down the wrong path. The collaboration we’ve had has helped us to understand more and ultimately design and create a better product.
We’ve learnt that storytelling, education, marketing, retail, events and entertainment all offer huge opportunities for developing new and engaging, personalised, scalable and accessible publishing experiences. Imagine being in a 3D world where the objects you see are nuanced based on your preferences, demographics, location, device, etc, and then when you look at or interact with them in certain ways your engagement or interest is being understood and interpreted in some appropriate context. Finally, the experience develops and changes based on what you have done in the past. We see that as the opportunity for Beam and for other publishing companies too - to deliver the dynamic amplification of publishing of [3D] content in whatever the “Metaverse” becomes.
So, what’s next? We’ve developed a fantastic prototype so we’re actively looking for the right pilot projects to leverage our Beam platform and our Rocketmakers design, development and delivery skills. We’ve already developed pilots in the entertainment space and are looking for more, so we can learn more. We’re building AR games and other experiences so we can see how Beam can deliver unique consumer engagement from the device most of us have in our pockets. If you have an idea where dynamic 3D experiences could push it forwards we’d love to hear from you!