Malcolm Poynton’s pick of the month’s best apps and mobile experiences

Each month, Malcolm Poynton of Cheil picks his favourite apps and mobile experiences for CR. This month features an app to help refugees in Sweden learn Swedish; Mr Robot VR; and the best productivity app Poynton’s ever seen.

Mr Robot VR

First up, we have a productivity app like no other, writes Malcolm Poynton. Titled Miraikan Notebook, it’s from Miraikan: Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, the company that brought us Erica, the hyper realistic robot.

Miraikan Notebook is designed to enable you to intuitively organise questions and ideas as you go about your everyday life. It may sound simple but surprisingly no-one has ever really tackled this particular challenge before. Other productivity apps simply encourage you to make lists, fill up folders and, erm, that’s about it.

Miraikan’s app has a higher purpose, proclaiming it will fuel “a way of thinking to create the future”, and by threading questions and ideas to actions that verify thoughts, it is doing just that. It’s like crowdsourcing the future via mobile. And given how much time people spend on mobile devices it’s brilliant to see someone pushing the peanut forward to unlock the good these super computers can do with a bit of grey matter thrown in. Genius.

Miraikan Notebook on Google Play

The ‘brands doing good’ theme continues with Swedish lozenge brand Läkerol, which has developed an app called ‘Let’s Talk’, that connects Swedes with refugees so they can help them learn Swedish. Though the link between learning a language and throat sweets may seem tenuous at first, it all ties nicely in with brand’s slogan ‘Makes people talk’. It’s work like this that helps make marketing an honorable profession.

We finish this month with Mr. Robot VR, a 13-minute narrative experience that takes viewers on a flashback journey with the US TV drama’s lead character Elliot Alderson. The result isn’t simply a VR technical demo; it’s a full-on storytelling experience from production company Here Be Dragons that pushes into territory that television would never allow (see CR’s feature on Here Be Dragons here).

The atmosphere and the sensations it evokes are extremely powerful. Floating up to the ceiling as you partake in Elliot’s drug induced high or riding with him in a ferris wheel car, the entire experience works seamlessly to take you right into the story without a trace of gimmickry. This level of storytelling in VR is set to explode in the year ahead and along with it, the use of mobile to enjoy incredible 360-degree escapades such as this. Mr. Robot VR was streamed for the recent Comic-Con in San Diego but has re-emerged online so sit back, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride folks…

Malcolm Poynton is Global Chief Creative Officer at Cheil Worldwide. He tweets @e1even5ive

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