Posts tagged with "Stranger Things"

To promote ‘Stranger Things,’ these firms developed an app that lets you order a pizza with your mind

June 13, 2022

At the start of the fourth season of the popular Netflix series, “Stranger Things,” the character Eleven has lost her telekinetic abilities. But, thanks to some small-business innovation, viewers can now channel her powers for a vital task: ordering a pizza. 

Indeed, Inc. reports, working with ad agency,  WorkInProgress,  and  content creation company,  Unit9, Domino’s released  a new “mind-ordering” app  in partnership with Netflix to promote the show’s May 27 season premiere.

The app enables users with a Domino’s account to order a pizza simply by moving their head while looking at the screen. There’s also a “Just for Fun” mode where users can explore the show’s Hawkins National Lab and find Stranger Things Easter eggs.

The head movements necessary to place an order mimic those that Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown) makes when using her mind powers: App users tilt their heads down and stare at an object to select it—and flick their heads to the side to dismiss it. The promotional campaign also includes a three-minute “how it started” video featuring characters from the sci-fi series; as well as a page on Domino’s website designed by WorkInProgress with instructions for using the app.

“Domino’s has a history of innovative ways of ordering,” says Dan Corken, director of Interactive Production at Boulder, Colorado-based WorkInProgress. The food giant previously has introduced ordering through Amazon Alexa and Google Home, as well as by sending a text with the pizza slice emoji. “We’re always looking for unique, fun, and technical ways to push the boundaries of ordering,” he says.

To create the app, WorkInProgress and London-based Unit9 started with already-existing facial recognition software. They then developed custom logic for the software, so that the app could recognize Eleven’s specific gestures; and employed testers to refine its accuracy.

“There were quite a lot of complexities on our side in terms of tracking the features whilst also looking at the position of the phone, because it’s a 360-degree experience,” says Shelley Adamson, creative director at Unit9.

If you’re interested in developing a novel app to promote your business, that process might seem daunting. But, according to Derek Riley, the electrical engineering and computer science program director at Milwaukee School of Engineering, there are a variety of ready-made facial recognition software programs, and adding them to an app isn’t significantly more complicated than introducing any other feature.

Adding facial recognition technology to an app can become more complex, however, if you decide to first customize the software, as the Domino’s app team did, which Riley says requires access to and knowledge of its code. “That improvement step is [also] the expensive part,” he adds. Domino’s declined to provide any information on the costs of the campaign.

Research contact: @Inc

Get an earful: You can phone Murray from ‘Stranger Things’ for clues to Season 4

July 26, 2019

Just four days after the debut of the third season Stranger Things on Independence Day, 18.2 million households in America already had streamed the entire season, according to Netflix.

In addition to welcoming the comeback of such series regulars as Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), fans greeted Maya Hawke (Robin) and the return of Brett Gleiman (Murray Bauman) with enthusiasm.

Murray’s return was heralded in one of the show’s trailers during the lead-up to the premiere of the third season, but fans didn’t know how big his role would be. It turned out that the private investigator/conspiracy theorist had a pretty big part in the story this season, as he helped Hopper and Joyce communicate with the short-lived character Alexei (Alec Utgoff), playing the scientist who only spoke Russian). He was also a key piece in the plan to destroy the Russian machine underneath the brand-new Starcourt Mall.

(Spoiler Alert: And while the machine was destroyed—essentially closing the gate to the Upside Down—Hopper (might have been) killed in the process. Murray was last seen walking with Joyce out of the Russian facility, and months later, Joyce decided to move out of Hawkins with her kids and Eleven in tow.)

But as PopBuzz reported earlier this month, a sneaky clue hidden in one of the episodes may reveal a plot point for season four. In season 3, episode 6, Murray’s phone number is shown on-screen. The number is 618-625-8313, and it turns out that it’s a working number. If fans call the number, they’ll hear Murray’s voicemail message.

According to PopBuzz, the recording says:

“Hi, you have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6pm as previously discussed, ok?

If this is Joyce, Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach you. I have an update. It’s about, well, it’s probably best if we speak in person. It’s not good or bad, but it’s something.

If this is anyone but my mother or Joyce, well, you think you’re real clever, getting my number, don’t ya? Well, here’s some breaking news for you: You’re not clever. You’re not special. You are just simply one of the many, many nimwits to have called here, and the closest you will ever get to me is this prerecorded message so at the beep, do me a favor and hang up and never call here again.”

According to PopBuzz, fans believe that Murray’s shoutout for Joyce is confirmation that Hopper is in fact the American being held in the Russian prison, and that Murray wants to talk with her about what to do next.

And while Murray’s recording also tells fans calling to “hang up and never call here again,” the actor who plays Murray, Brett Gelman, posted the number on his Instagram.

That sounds like an invitation for a phone call.

Research contact: @popbuzz