Greetings from the Planet that Wiggles!
We develop self-animated characters for biodiversity education using augmented reality.
Four years ago, Jeffrey Ventrella adapted his core technology for genetics-based animated characters to develop apps for entertaining science education, using augmented reality. This technology has been evolving since Jeffrey was at the MIT Media Lab in the 90’s.
While traditional animated characters are expensive to make and deeply rooted in a linear medium production model, our characters are self-animated. They are endlessly novel (using AI and physics) and they offer millions of variations, due to genetic inheritance.
They are also geolocated (currently there are over 1900 – and growing – in a database). They are fully-data-driven. This critical aspect makes these characters an ideal vehicle for people to connect to place and time. They can be found, bred with each other, placed into new locations, and exchanged freely. We are currently developing a feature allowing information associated with their locations and the people involved to accumulate in the database, thus allowing a social networking aspect to the experience.
Wiglets will eventually be used as as location-aware tour guides, as well as virtual pets for extended gaming adventures. A year ago, we funded the creation of an augmented reality book via Kickstarter to demonstrate how these characters can be used as “actors” in picture books. They can also be spawned from other kinds of merchandise, such as t-shirts.
We are developing an alternative kind of augmented reality experience, centered on cooperative gameplay and biodiversity education, with lots of laughs along the way.
We have seven apps available on the Apple Store and one on Google Play. We are currently seeking funding and help with developing our technology to take it to the next stage. We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.