We are Dot Advert, an advertising company established in 2016, with the vision of enhancing the art of advertising. Dot Advert was founded by a team of four architects – Binyam G., Biruh T., Etana A. & Joseph D. Early on from school days, we were fascinated with art and found ourselves taking different art classes. We also used to experiment with different graphic design software.
At first we were only focused on editing each other’s pictures just for fun. Later in college, as we were able to master these software & got engaged in our small businesses, we noticed a gap in the market for a fresh way to advertise things.
Hence came Dot Advert. We have been experimenting on Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR) for years with the aim of introducing a new & technology based advertising. Our website ze-ethiopia.com is a good example to show how VR can be implemented on promoting the cultural heritage sites of Ethiopia. Currently we are working on doing the same thing with AR & we have presented some of our works at Yeha Digital Art earlier this month.
Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. To do that we develop an app and a print out. The print out serves as a target picture – think of it as a QR code. When the app is launched, it opens the phone’s camera. Once the user exposes the print out target picture through the camera, the app detects it and in return generates a 3D model that has been developed in to the app thus creating a composite view of the real world and a computer generated image.
Production for AR projects is a collaboration of different tasks, the main one being application development and coding. Once the basics of the app are developed, we work on illustrations for the target pictures while the graphics team take care of the app branding. The next step is trying out the app with sample print outs to manage its detection, scale & user experience. Finally we proceed to publications.
There are many things that inspire us but if we have to mention one, it is the joy of discovering new & captivating ideas. Some of us brainstorm ideas while the rest of us see them through production & delivery. There are of course, enjoyable what-if moments and seeing them turn into reality is something that inspires us. We also try to update ourselves on what’s being done in other countries with the technology for inspiration and ways to place it to our context. Once we and an idea that moves us we further develop it and see it to fruition.
While some prefer new ideas and alternative ways of doing things, most like the tried and tested. It discourages us sometimes when some companies settle for that. We also hear similar stories from other creatives.
The government officials should set a platform to encourage and empower young creatives as they can play a big role in solving some of the problems of the country. We also hope to see more and more exhibitions like Yeha Digital Art that create awareness and an opportunity for artists.
Print media has been around for hundreds of years. Over the past 10 years though, some print companies have branched out to digital platforms. We think it’s a matter of time until digital media becomes the dominant form of advertising and information sources. We spend much of our time on our screens. In fact there are al- ready emerging online medias like Link- up Addis, Med in Sheger & of course the one you are reading now, Getz .
And given that AR needs both an app on your phone and a printed out We believe augmented reality serves as a transition bridge between the two mediums as it uses both an app and a print out.
Due to the corona virus outbreak, social distancing is becoming inevitable. We can’t say it has affected us a lot due to the nature of our work. Thanks to the internet, much of the work we do can be done remotely.
The virtual technology offers a solution to some of the quarantine problems. Some companies abroad are offering customers a virtual reality shopping experience for whole food markets with home delivery. Even though we can’t provide an online shopping experience, we can give you virtual access to our cultural heritage sites from the seat of your couch. Our website www.ze-ethiopia.com contains 40+ historical sites with more than 300 panoramic 360o images. Feel free to explore the website… you know, when those movies you got from the movie store start to be tiresome.
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