Google Creates Custom Voice Commands & VR Game To Promote New Harry Potter Movie

What Happened
Warner Bros. Pictures is working with Google to promote its upcoming Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with custom voice commands that let fans control their phones with “magic spells.” Integrated into its Google Assistant service, these new commands allow Android phone users to turn their phone’s flashlight on and off by saying “OK Google” followed by “Lumos” or “Nox.” Following it with “Silencio” will put the phone on silence mode. Warner Bros. showcased a similar voice-activated magic wand experience at the New York Comic Con last month. 

Building on this cute voice activation, Google also created a Fantastic Beasts-themed interactive VR experience that invites fans to explore the movie’s world and cast some more spells. The experience will become available when Google’s mobile-powered VR headset Daydream View goes on sale in November.

What Brands Should Do
This partnership between Google and Warner Bros. serves as a good example for brands seeking to engage with fans using emerging technologies such as VR and voice-based digital assistants. Making the custom voice commands accessible to all Android users is a clever way to hype up the upcoming VR game, setting a precedent for how brands may work with Google to integrate their intellectual property and branded content into Google’s services.

On Monday, Samsung announced it will launch its own digital assistant service to compete with the likes of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant. As voice-activated assistant services continue to alter the way consumers interact with their personal gadgets and how they access information, brands should seize the opportunities they bring to connect with consumers via voice-based interactions.

The Lab has extensive experience with building Alexa skills and helping brands navigate the new realities that conversational interfaces are set to bring. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out and schedule a visit to the Lab.

Source: Google Blog

Hobbit Campaign Encourages Users To 3D Print Props

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be in theaters in two weeks time, and Warner Brothers is throwing a tech curveball into their campaign to promote the movie: users will be able to download 3D-printing blueprints for the Key of Erebor, a prop that will feature in the film. Granted, 3D printers aren’t quite ubiquitous such that there will be tons of these keys floating around; nonetheless, there’s precedent for this type of campaign, as Ender’s Game announced last month that it will offer 3D-printer downloads of prop replicas. It’s a nifty move, but for the time being feels fairly niche.