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This article was published on December 21, 2012

    How to move Skittles with your mind over the Internet

    How to move Skittles with your mind over the Internet
    Emil Protalinski
    Story by

    Emil Protalinski

    Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

    If a company could give telekinetic powers to everyone and allow them to move one type of object with their mind, what would it be? A Car? A Plane? Each Other? Nah, apparently it would be a Skittle.

    Skittles’ parent company Wrigley recently hired marketing agency Clemenger BBDO to create an interactive experience, and boy did it deliver. Here is how “Telekenize the Rainbow” was built:

    Okay, so this isn’t exactly mind control. It’s really just tracking eye movements with users’ webcams, which are then translated into commands given to Wi-Fi-controlled robots that are attached to individual Skittles. Still, that’s a huge undertaking just to move a few skittles across the screen.

    There isn’t much out there on how this multi-user experience was built, likely because it was done in Australia and New Zealand. We do know, however, that the countries’ residents could visit Skittles-Telekinize.com.au to move their own Skittle. Unfortunately, the campaign is no longer available; the page merely redirects to the company’s Facebook Page since the Facebook app for it has been taken down.

    Paul Nagy, executive creative director from Clemenger BBDO Sydney explained the thinking behind it all to Campaign Brief:

    Until now, telekinesis has only ever existed in science fiction movies. By adding a heap of Skittles awesomeness to some new state-of-the-art technology, some of which we developed ourselves, we’re enabling people to move Skittles in a way they’ve never been able to before.

    At the time, the marketing campaign was apparently quite successful. “Skittles worldwide has won over millions of fans over by dramatising what happens at the intersection of real and imaginary,” according to Chris Blayney, Wrigley’s marketing director.”

    That’s enough for Wrigley to bring the campaign worldwide. We hope they do as we’d love to play with the technology for a bit. I’d try to get my Skittle to jump through my screen.

    Image credit: Gabor Kalman