Joanna Peña-Bickley Artist, Activist, Inventor and Designer

Are we real or are we living in a virtual reality created by intelligent machines?

CUSTOMER CHALLENGE

How do you invite a generation of cyber punk fans to experiment with a new kind of pop culture, storytelling, that doesn't end when the credits role at the end of a movie?

In 2003, working with Joel Silver Pictures,The Wachowski Brothers and Warner Bros we designed the first of it's kind Transmedia storytelling experience that acted as an open-ended, provocative multilayered experience which delivered a more deep audience exploration and engagement. That experience was anchored with the release of first Samsung Matrix phone and Voice driven game that asked fans to Answer The Call.

MATH & MAGIC

To begin building a first of a kind voice (voice recognition, Voice XML and sound design) and mobile experience we first worked to build out the world of The Matrix in an ambitious Voice driven game that contained hours of original audio content featuring the cast of the movie.

Our collaborative design approach began with a deep dive in to the Cyberpunk sub-genre of science fiction to create a futuristic audio setting that focused on combinations of lowlife and high tech story arcs. Each featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of societal breakdowns and radical change in the social order.

Each of the voice plots center on the conflict among artificial intelligences, hackers, and mega-corporations set in a near-future Earth, rather than in the far-future settings or galactic vistas found in other genres.

Inspired by Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan I began studying the architecture like the DoCoMo Yoyogi Building, machines of our current era and night lighting and sounds of its immersive environment. Working with script writers and sound designers we began working to design highly-efficient VUI, with a focus on reducing cognitive load — an amount of mental effort required to use a system - with a guided experience that has simple choices. e.g. Red or Blue Pill?

The Enter The Matrix Voice Game ultimately consisted of branching narratives and glitches in the code that encouraged additive comprehension across the three films, video games and anime.

Leveraging the power of hacker and cyberpunk internet communities we introduced many different perspectives and empowered audiences to pool their knowledge, and compile the information with us.

The Matrix mobile phone and voice game wasn't designed to be the end the story but a entry point that allowed fans to float between 2 dimensions, they're and ours, in order to unleash humanity from machines with Neo.

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DELIVERING RESULTS

The worldwide box office earnings of the trilogy stand at about $1.6 billion.

10,000 SPH-N270, Matrix phones were designed and released with the second film, Matrix Reloaded. Today the device is a rare collectors item that can be found on eBay

The Voice Game was enjoined by millions of users.

Our approach to Transmedia storytelling became the the industry standard and became a new business model for franchises in an era of media conglomeration, fan fiction and social media. 


 

WISDOM

In 2003, linguistic clarity was highly dependent on the sound design with Laurence Fishburne & Keanu Reeves. Branching narratives, “glitches" in the code coupled with training models that helped first time users. Today, conversation modeling would create a superior experience as fall back phrases would allow players to enjoy against the machine in a more responsive method.

Error prevention was paramount to the experience. We did this by helping users recover from and prevent errors from occurring in the first place with fall back phrases and recovery design. As speech recognition has improved in recent years, errors in natural-language understanding have dropped significantly.

Selected Works

Citi BankProduct Design: Apple Watch App

General Motors OnStar GoProduct Ecosystem Design

The MatrixMobile Device & Voice Game Design

AWS IoT Things GraphEnterprise IoT Product Design

Earth SpeaksStrategy, Product + Conversation Design

Ford MobilityMobile & Internet of Things Design

Frontier CommunicationsBranding, Product Design, Advertising

Rémy MartinProduct Design, Mobile

IBM iXBranding, Org & Product Design

Crypto JewsArt Exhibition

H3Product Design, Mobile + Wearble Tech

Ford Service Tech Advisor AppMobile & Internet of Things Design

DusseBranding, Product Design, Advertising

Speaking Engagments

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 Joanna routinely to speaks and keynotes at conferences, corporations, non-profits, educational and professional organizations. Her subject matter expertise is customized to meet the needs of each audience. 

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Talk: Making Magic with Ai

Ai is the tool of the modern magician. At the nascent stages of the another industrial and social revolution, magic + math, multiplied by design makes what is invariable hard — seem remarkably easy.

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Begin the week with a health dose of inspiration, exploration. #5Things is a springboard for creativity, invention and thinking big. Join the optimistic intersection of design, tech and modern life on spaceship earth. 

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