How to move Skittles with your mind over the Internet

How to move Skittles with your mind over the Internet

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 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

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