It has been years. I have been waiting for this app to go live for so long, 3 years really from when we first started developing. It has been the longest journey. There have been many hurdles, the last of which was getting it through the app store process!
If you are on Android you can head over to the Google Play Store and get it for yourself! You will need the below marker (the image that the app recognises) to play the content. We think printing it out and playing with it in your live environment is more fun. If you don't have time it will also trigger from your computer screen.
This is the first marker you will need - open the app, and point your phone over our logo.
Sorry Apple-Lovers! We have been notified by Apple overnight that the app is 'In Review'. Should be available in a couple of days (maybe tomorrow if we all cross our fingers!).
This first release includes 1 free story ahead of our release of Kakadu Dreaming (the first paid content that will drive economic digital development by Indigenous communities). The free story is in high definition 2D animation and shares the story of Indigenous Peoples and technology - the reason our company was formed. The experience is like turning our business card into a TV in the palm of your hand. Kakadu Dreaming is a 3D paid experience and will be available around the end of December, and definitely for the Kakadu Tourist Season 2017.
Turns out coding for the Samsung S7 Edge, with it's beautifully curved screen, was a little trickier than for flat screens! We are all sorted out now for the app to work with most phones, including those curvier devices. This is what held us up in the App stores.
We've developed a unique way to trigger content on Country without the internet. It involves a combination of outlines, images (including ochres and petroglyphs), geolocation (where Traditional Owners have stipulated content must only be played at the cultural site), and point clouds. We use a drone (DJI Phantom 4) to develop point clouds through third party software to develop sites as markers. This is science in action!
All our content works without the internet. This was a key design challenge, but one I persisted with because our Peoples' shouldn't have to wait for the internet to take advantage of the digital economy. I've been asked about the trade off for analytics - there isn't one. We still manage analytics and they are as 'real time' as when users connect back to the internet. Good enough for us to make product and marketing decisions from.
The last three years have seen 4 beta apps, testing, iterating, testing, iterating, testing, iterating! It wasn't just the technology though that was difficult to build - it was the cultural processes behind the app.
The Cultural Processes
We have worked incredibly hard at the domestic and international levels setting the benchmark for the ethical digitalisation of Indigenous Cultural knowledge systems. We wanted to ensure that Indigenous Digital Rights were not only protected, but recognised as being valuable enough to protect by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples' all over the world.
In the background of bringing this app to the world, we have been attending the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York (2015 and 2016), the IUCN Congress in Hawaii, the National Maori ICT Hui in Hastings (NZ), and many many online meetings with the Tribal Link Taskforce on Indigenous Digital Rights to drive the Indigenous Digital Rights agenda.
All Traditional Owners have been paid market rates for their cultural contributions and Intellectual Property, and all IP remains with them -they own the data. Indigital have a non-exclusive license to use the content through our app, and Traditional Owners receive 50% of the profits generated through the app.
We've also been fierce promoters of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in tech in the media.
This is the bit where I get a bit teary, but it is our blog and we want to give recognition where recognition is due! It has taken many to get this to market. I would like to personally thank so many people and organisations who believed in Indigital to get this done.
My partner Pete Cotsell, who has put up with hundreds of nights of going through specifications, business models, tears, frustration, debriefing and keeping things together while I've been away all around the world. A huge thanks to Mum and Dad who helped to feed and clothe me - and kick me in the butt at various points throughout this journey, and Cass, Kris and Kristin who have always been there for advice and for putting me up at various times I've been in town. Amy, Jasi and Dom, thank you for your patience while I had my face in a screen.
Lia Archioni, Neil and M'Lis - thanks for being our first team at Indigital. Your contributions are so valuable and I'm so thankful to you every day for your help in getting things done and providing valuable insights that aren't always obvious to me.
Damien, Neville, Robert, Abel, Graham, Hezekieh, and Mark over at Bininj Kunwaral, thank you for showing leadership through bringing some of the most ancient cultural stories in our Country to life through 3D AR. We can't wait for Kakadu Dreaming to bring you a return on investment. Feedback is great so far :-)
Eileen de-Ravin, Alejandra Pero, Martin Sommerschuh, Pamela Kraft, Tai Pelli, Roberto Borrero, Damon Corrie, Atama Katama, Carl Hutchby, Lin Lin Sui, Angie Abdilla and the growing group at the UNPFII for doing what we can for Indigenous Digital Rights at the highest levels. This app is proof we can develop respectfully and in the right way.
Thanks to my tribal organisations - Darug Tribe Aboriginal Corporation, MERANA Hawkesbury and my Aunties and Uncles for your support and approval to continue on this path. Thanks also to the IDX-ers over the years for believing in the early stages.
Peter Radoll, Kerrie Tim and Kirstie Parker thanks for providing me advice on this journey. De Greer-Yindimincarlie, Roy, Bruce and Amber thanks for being 'the first' to deliver Indigenous AR!
The guys over at Bschool - Ryan, Luke, Khirra, Yvonne especially. Your business advice has been invaluable and has completely changed the way we operate at Indigital. I can't tell you what a relief it is to know, understand and implement solid business practices learned from the best.
Ruth Mirams thanks for sticking by this crazy journey even after we let go of Paramodic :-0
Rob, Danny, Matt, James, Simon, Lee, Ian and all the original 'Inspirers' at the University of Canberra. Thanks for introducing me to the concept of AR way back in 2012 and being there for ideas, advice and encouragement ever since.
Terri Janke and Company, thank you for working within us on the digital protection framework and agreements. They are working really well!
Thanks to Jason and Kieran over in the UK for pushing this idea and helping us prove it can be done as our first tech partners! Thanks especially for the work you put in leading up to us meeting the Prime Minister. That was pretty cool. Thanks also for teaching me the 'dark arts' of Qualcomm! So many points in those clouds now!
Eileen Breen from Many Rivers - this couldn't have been funded without you believing in the market proposition. Thanks for the many many hours and long trips to Jabiru to help build the business case and cashflows. Thanks also to Suzi Hullock for believing in an Indigenous female tech entrepreneur from the bush.
Maria, Nathan, and Brant over at PM&C - thank you so much for helping get an audience and for your ongoing encouragement.
And to our team in India - you are absolute rock stars. I'm so so so glad we met at Collision in New Orleans this year. Thanks Gautham, Manjushree, Sujith, Chandramani for proving time zones are no barrier to getting things done! You have made all the difference.
Thanks to the thousands of other people around the world who have had coffees with me, provided speaking opportunities - or sat through them and listened to our crazy story. Please, keep listening. We can do so much and this is just the beginning.