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Swagmark transforms an aerogami paper airplane into a mobile, interactive transmedia storyteller. The issue is sharing experiences. Read more

Davis, CA Mixed Media
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This project was successfully funded on April 9, 2014.

Swagmark transforms an aerogami paper airplane into a mobile, interactive transmedia storyteller. The issue is sharing experiences.

Davis, CA Mixed Media
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About this project

    The thing about Kai is that she loves to make things. Kailani and her family are launching the first personalized paper airplane that we call a Swagmark. Using patented technology we are linking memories in the form of music, stories, poems, photos, and videos to aerogami. Touch the wing with a near field communication (NFC) cell phone to retrieve, replay, and share your outdoor adventures. We are making interactive aerogami planes that will be used as gifts to share experiences. Instant memories in the form of videos and music will connect the physical and virtual worlds together in time. This project is about creating, living, and fulfilling a dream, one plane at a time. We are collecting, retrieving, and sharing music, hidden voices, and stories on a mobile, global platform. 

     We have developed an interactive system that allows the public to share opinions, impressions, and stories about their daily lives. Our method is simple, mobile, and easy to use. Simultaneously experience and document an event. Upload the data to servers that reside on the Internet in the form of photos, videos, text, music, or audio files. Retrieve links from the servers and write it directly onto the personalized Swagmark paper airplane using radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled cell phones. At a latter point in time, touch the tagged wing with the phone and instantly retrieve, replay, and share memories in time. Our goal is to enable people to customize Swagmark paper airplanes. We will show them to how to personalize consumer products using NFC cell phones. Please check out our short video that provides a demo on how to record, retrieve, and share experiences using our RFID technology. 

     Our method has been refined over the years. Our initial goal was to share fishing stories on RFID-tagged lures and hats. We have looked at ultra high frequency (UHF) and high frequency (HF) RFID tags and numerous readers. The initial hardware components varied in price from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Many were bulky and difficult to use in the outdoor environments. We tested a series of tags in harsh conditions such as direct sunlight, liquid nitrogen, -80C freezers, and organic solvents. We determined that the tags could withstand severe temperatures and conditions. Our results entitled “Development of electronic barcodes for use in plant pathology and functional genomics” were published in the Journal of Plant Molecular Biology (2006) 61:515-523. In 2009 we were issued US Patent 7,598,869 entitled “Method to personalize and enhance the value of consumer items for use in outdoor activities.” At that time we focused our efforts on developing systems that could be used with NFC cell phones. In 2010 memories or stories that could be retrieved and shared from personalized consumer products using smart phones was described in our issued US Patent 7,843,334 entitled “Method to promote and distribute multimedia content using radio frequency identification tags.” In recent years we have initiated projects that utilize interactive sculptures and murals to share artistic experiences. We have set up a transmedia art walk (http://bulatag.com) in Davis, California that allows people to retrieve videos and leave messages on public art. The goal of our project is to challenge the community to actively participate in storytelling across multiple platforms. Interactive origami and the paper airplanes became a natural offshoot. We want to show the public how to fold, personalize and launch Swagmark as a gift to share unique experiences. 

     Our goal is to create and deliver a mobile multimedia messenger paper airplane for under three dollars. We have the ability to take off the shelf components, mix them together in a unique way to create something special. Passing notes among friends is nothing new. We are showing people how to create and share stories in the form of individual, personalized Swagmarks. We are connecting the personal, physical, and digital worlds together in a mobile art form. The development of new software or apps is not required for this project. Participants can download freely available apps such as NXP’s “Tagwriter” on Android mobile devices. Our current demo featured in the video is fully functional. We are able to write links to music, photos, and videos using NFC cell phones. A complete list of NCF mobile devices that are compatible with Swagmark can be found at http://www.nfcworld.com/nfc-phones-list

     The project is moving forward in three separate thrust areas: design, scale up, and experiential advertising. Creating and selecting custom templates will take approximately a month. We want to produce pre-folded swagmarks that can fit into an envelope. We are organizing the plane’s artwork into five interactive themes such as RFID Sport, RFID Dining, RFID Travel, RFID Music, and RFID Dance. In the first five weeks of the project we will launch a theme a week. In each area we will provide at least five examples. We will seek input from the participants in the form of submissions of photos, music, videos, and stories that can be part of the interactive planes. During this small scale (25 planes) phase we will streamline our methods to reduce costs and labor while increasing the multimedia content of the transmedia project. The results of the campaign will be shared via social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. 

     The next phase of the project will take a month in which we will produce at least a hundred Swagmarks for distribution and expansion of experiential marketing. Our goal is to provide transparency in production where we will identify and share bottlenecks, hidden costs, successes and failures. The focus of the project is to provide a novel method to share consumer ideas and stories. We hope to transform the paper airplane into an interactive storyteller where the issue is sharing experiences. The final phase will depend on the level of participation, availability of NFC cell phones, and establishment corporate partnerships. We look forward to expanding our transmedia Swagmark project and can’t wait to get started. Work will be required for improvements in the methods, selection of paper material, design of the airplanes, selection of tags, and integration with smart phones. Aloha, hope, and memories are free. Creating, documenting, delivering, and folding interactive messages will require modest funds. Please join Kai in a flight of a lifetime. Kai has started the project and waits in silence, hoping for others to follow. Take a leadership role and become a pilot or mentor. Tell us how you did it. Get up, take a stance and let it fly. Help launch Swagmark, the Transmedia Paper Airplane. Leave a message. Burn an impression. The issue is sharing experiences. 

Tag, Shoot, and Share

1. Tag It: Place an RFID tag on the template.

2. Fold It: Fold the paper into a transmedia paper airplane.

3. Shoot It: Record an experience on a mobile device and upload the file to the Internet.

4. Write It: Personalize the plane by writing the URL or message on the tagged-wing.

5. Fly It: Launch the Swagmark into the sky or fly it towards another person.

6. Share It: Give and show the plane to others. Touch the wing to share an experience.

The following are components of the Swagmark system:

Hat Creek Brook Trout template printed on copy paper

 Supported NFC cell phone

(complete list at http://www.nfcworld.com/nfc-phones-list)

 RFID Tag

Risks and challenges

Swagmark serves as a conduit to personal experiences. Events and memories can be instantly recalled by placing an RFID-enabled phone near the wing of the plane. By touching and activating the links to the information, personal data can be retrieved, displayed, and shared. We understand that not every consumer will have an RFID-enabled cell phone. Current competition in the smart phone market ensures that more NFC cell phones will be available to the public. New services offered by RFID technology, such as contactless payment systems and inventory tracking, suggests that RFID-enabled cell phones will become widespread. We expect that RFID services will become a standard feature in all cell phones. The success of our interactive plane/storytelling system is dependent on the mass adoption of RFID technology. The components of Swagmark are paper and NFC tags (Swagtag). We are designing custom, personalized images that can be printed at home. We are implementing methods to reduce the cost of the RFID tags. Recording experiences requires cameras, camcorders, and cell phones. Although our tool of choice is an NFC cell phone, we are also using point of view (POV) cameras. We will provide detailed instructions about the methods that we use to record and share our experiences from RFID-tagged airplanes.

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    Virtual Swagmark PDF template from Kai

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    BASIC KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with RFID personalization instructions

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    KAI’S SPECIAL KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with a signed copy of Kai’s Swagmark photo.

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    PERSONALIZED KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with encoded RFID tag containing a personalized note or link to video/photo. Please note: This kit requires the donor to submit short URL or text message (39 characters or less).

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    OUTDOOR KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with a personalized RFID Hat

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    DIRECTORS KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with a Swagmark DVD

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    SILVER KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with an embroidered Swagmark shirt

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    GOLD KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with an embroidered Swagmark sweatshirt

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    PLATINUM KIT: A pre-folded Swagmark paper airplane with an embroidered Swagmark flyers coat

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Funding period

- (60 days)