Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Introducing Motorola Spotlight Stories™ - Storytelling Designed for Smartphones

Smart phones have become deeply personal devices, indispensable in our lives.  Storytelling is the most timeless and human of activities.  Yet the stories that live on our mobile phones are mostly adapted from other media -- like TV shows, movies and books -- merely shrunk down to a smaller screen.  Why is that?  We decided to change it.  So, we created a new way of telling stories, one designed specifically for smartphones, where the capabilities of the device are part of the experience itself.

Together with our team of Motorola engineers and Oscar-winning director Jan Pinkava, we’re happy to announce the debut of Windy Day, the first immersive, interactive story made for mobile phones, launched using a first-of-its-kind storytelling platform called Motorola Spotlight Stories.

Motorola Spotlight Stories aren’t games, movies or videos. They’re different.  New.  Here’s how some of our first audience members reacted when they saw Windy Day for the first time:

When the first Android phone came out almost five years ago, it had roughly the same graphics computation performance as a Nintendo Gameboy Advance, which came out five years before that. Since then, the performance improvement of mobile processors has been astonishing.  The graphics chipset on the Moto X has 600 times the computation capability of that first Android device, and next year mobile graphics processors will surpass the computation capabilities of video game consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Where is all that graphics power going?  When we measured it, we found that outside of a few graphically advanced apps and games, it’s barely being used.  It was a graphics-processing treasure chest hidden in plain sight.

So, we decided to make something new.

We tuned the Moto X so that, even in the most stressful user-interface conditions, up to 60% of its graphics capability is accessible. We took advantage of that access to build a powerful creative canvas for storytellers, incorporating a real-time 3D graphics engine, an advanced rendering technique from Pixar called OpenSubdiv, and sensor algorithms adapted from the landing systems of interplanetary spacecraft. Really.

We invited some of the best storytellers of our generation to paint something on this canvas.  Jan Pinkava, the Oscar-winning director of Geri’s Game and co-director of Ratatouille, Oscar-winning producer Karen Dufilho, animator and Academy Award nominee Doug Sweetland, Caldecott-winning illustrator Jon Klassen, veteran animator Mark Oftedal, composer Scot Stafford and artists from eight different countries joined us to build the first Motorola Spotlight Story: Windy Day.  It’s our gift to you.  We hope it makes you smile.

Motorola Spotlight Stories are featured exclusively on the Moto X. Stay tuned for more, because we are continuing to work with award-winning storytellers.  There are a lot more stories to tell.

Watch what happened when one of our own product managers, Kevin, showed Windy Day to his 2-year-old son—then check out Windy Day for yourself.

Baback Elmieh
Advanced Technologies and Project (ATAP) Technical Program Lead

Visit our Tumblr page to stay up to date with future Stories and further information on the technical achievements.

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