Over spring break, Kineticards, one of the blooming companies in SCAD+’s alumni entrepreneurial program, launched their app and their first batch of augmented reality-infused greeting cards.
Each card provides a simple three step illustration that tells receivers how to unlock it’s secret animation. All someone has to do is download the free Kineticards app, scan the card and watch it come to life on the phone screen.
The company was founded by Chrissy Eckman, a motion media and graphic design alumna who graduated in June 2017. The concept was part of her senior capstone in which she played with the idea of combining the tangibility of a physical greeting card with the interactive experience of an e-card. Passionate about pursuing the idea, Eckman applied to the SCAD+ program, which supports alumni in their entrepreneurial endeavors by providing housing, meals, studio space and a team of developers.
“It’s awesome,” Eckman said. “The environment is great and you get to make actual connections with the other companies working within the program rather than just working in a vacuum.”
Eckman’s team spent the first three months of the program testing the limits of augmented reality and developing the software and designs for the cards. Their ideas primarily revolved around holidays usually associated with greeting cards like birthdays, graduations and condolences. However, they also found certain occasions that AR could add to that ordinary greeting cards could not, such as a gender reveal or a bridesmaid proposal.
The team just recently returned from a trip to San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference where they were able to interact with companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Snapchat and discuss the different ways they were using augmented reality.
As Eckman looks at the future of the brand, “I’m kind of at a crossroad,” she said. She would like to keep doors open for investors, open an online store and expand the brand to include more people and other designs. However, she also has been offered an exciting role at Black Math, a video design and production company in Boston. “I’d like to find some way to make both jobs work together so I’m exploring my options in the time that I have left.”
The company will be one of exhibitions as SCAD’s ForwardFest in Atlanta this weekend and Eckman sees the opportunity as a kind of dress rehearsal before the company’s official demo on May 2.
Regardless of what the future holds for Eckman, she considers the experience of creating the company invaluable. “I’ve had the experience of working in a different role. I’m not an employee following someone else’s vision. I’ve gotten to make my own decisions and learn how to communicate my own needs and I think those are skills that will serve me well no matter what industry I end up in.”
Kineticards are available at shopSCAD and their app is free for download from the app store.