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Interactive video

You look like you could use a Guinness. Did that work? Maybe not. But we bet you’d be feeling thirsty if this message was delivered through interactive video


Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report has become a dystopian benchmark for describing disturbing modern technology. For instance, in the film there is a scene where John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise) is fleeing the police, but is flagged and identified by personalised interactive video advertising that reveals where he is. 


Maybe we’re not at the point of screaming-your-name-for-attention billboards, but we’re not that far off.


Dan Garraway, co-founder of Wirewax, references the film’s dystopian setting as a motivator for what his company does: “It’s been 17 years since the film came out and amazed audiences with its futuristic technology, but all we’ve really done with video since that time is take what used to be on a bigger screen in the corner of our living room and put it on a cinema screen that fits into our hands. It’s not a huge amount of progress for what is the most powerful medium of our time.”


He continues: “And so, what we’re trying to do, at a very broad level, is make video intelligent, connected and creative when it is in a digital environment.” 


Wirewax describes itself as a creative video technology, which manifests itself in several ways, primarily as an interactive video studio where its customers can upload videos and use its computer technology – which understands those videos – to make them interactive via creative layers. You can tap to shop or tap to get context around the content you’re interested in, for example. 

When people touch, they remember more, and that experience has a far greater impact

Garraway says: “I like to position it as a Photoshop for interactive video, which, if you’re already in a creative world, is easy to understand.”


This is something brands are very interested in now, especially given the success stories of a high-profile early adopter. In the last year or so, Netflix started putting out strong, attention-grabbing interactive content, such as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Minecraft: Story Mode, and there are a host of others who are now stepping into this territory at a mainstream level. 


“We’re starting to see more validation points in the mainstream market, which is helping everyone realise that, although interactive video has been around for a couple of years, it’s much more scalable and creative than it ever was before,” says Garraway. “Bandersnatch was obviously a big step in changing the way many content creators think, and it’s good, because now is the time when moving towards this type of content delivery really matters. It differentiates your offering from standard video and gives you the benefit of viewer interaction.”

What we’re trying to do is make video intelligent, connected and creative when it is in a digital environment  

He continues: “Also, generations below us – the future – are growing up with touchscreens, and the idea that video is a non-touch interface is, to them, sort of ridiculous.”


Memorable moments

Wirewax is marketed at those who are looking to get more out of their video content. Video is recognisably a very expensive thing to create from a monetary point of view, but also from a logistics point of view: it requires a huge amount of effort and resource. In the US, there are roughly 10,000 advertising messages generated each day, so, having something that enables the viewer to lean in and engage in an effective way is important. 



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