Cape Town production company Platypus Productions has launched Platypus Digital, a digital consultancy that creates unique user experiences by blending content and technology. Platypus Digital will run as a separate company headed by Stanley Edwards, who has 26 years experience in content production and digital technologies.
Platypus Digital's initial project is OGLE Digital Content Download Kiosks, a take-away content delivery system. They've already been invited to speak about the kiosks at the mEducation Alliance International Symposium, to be held on 5-6 September 2012 in Washington, D.C., USA. Supported by the likes of UNICEF, UNESCO, World Bank, US Aid, World Vision and the World Wide Web Foundation, this invitation-only event is the preeminent forum for exploring the intersection of mobile technologies and improved learning outcomes in developing countries.
OGLE Kiosks have applications for education, retail and as a business-in-box for a young entrepreneur. Platypus Digital is currently focusing on rolling out a national network of touch-screen content kiosks in schools and learning institutions, to allow both learners and educators to access and download quality, curriculum-based education and edutainment-rich content for no cost.
"The country was horrified by the recent headlines about schools in Limpopo not having textbooks yet, halfway through the school year," says Stanley. "Education is the primary challenge facing South Africa and we believe that the OGLE Kiosks can play a key role in solving these sorts of deliveryproblems."
Educational and edutainment content is just the first phase for the kiosks. "Deloitte's technology, media and telecommunications predictions for 2012 spoke about how seat-back entertainment on airplanes and long distance trains and buses will shift towards offering Wi-Fi and a preloaded multimedia server so travelers can consume on their own devices," says Stanley. "We aim to be ahead of that trend and to expand it into additional areas like events and retail."
Platypus Productions has a long track record of digital innovations. Earlier this year, Platypus became the first production company in the world to adapt Sonru.com's automated video interviewing services for an online casting.
Similarly, Platypus was the first company in Africa to work with augmented reality and the second company in Africa to do DVD authoring - Stanley laughs when he says that they paid nearly half a million rand more than a decade ago for something that comes free with all computers now. Platypus has also created live experiences with holographic displays, interactive flooring FX, 3D mapping, QR codes and the Watchout Multi-Display System, among otherinnovations.
"We've seen steady growth in the amount of digital work Platypus does," says Stanley. "So it made sense to launch a dedicated arm to focus on it. In digital, contentremains king, so we think coming from a production background immediately separates us from the majority of the digital consultancies out there."
Platypus Digital is currently developing a social media marketing toolkit using various digital and mobile technologies. For example, they're using content geo-tagging on Backpack, Budget or Bling, a multiplatform destination marketing series that chronicles three very different experiences in any location.
Platypus Digital is available to consult on developing and implementing any digital idea. Services include:
Watchout multi display system OGLE digital content download kiosks 3D mapping and projection Holographic projections Interactive surfaces, touch displays and touch tables Augmented reality Digital signage Digital showreels for mobile and tablets Digital publishing across web and mobile VideoPak video brochures Mobile applications for Apple, Android and Windows Mobile Ovation station - Live music download system Tourist guides for mobile and tablets Video logo - animated projection onto laser cut templates 3D glassless display Holo mist projection into free space Interactive wall and floor FX Microtiles and floor cube customisable video displays Digital information desks Video Walls Driving simulators Human kiosk/digital concierge - live virtual assistant