Here's Why There's A Red Sombrero Icon On The Moto X Home Screen Today

Motorola has set out to create a new platform called “Spotlight Stories” that uses contemporary technology to reinvent the age-old practice of storytelling.
Wired has the story this morning.

If you own a Moto X, you may have noticed something different about your phone today. There is a little red sombrero icon on the home screen. Give it a poke.

Here’s what happens next: Moto X turns into a player for a new form of media, one that combines “computer animation and street theatre with virtual reality”, according to Wired’s report. It’s called ‘Windy Day’.

The phone’s screen becomes a looking-glass that peers into a stylised virtual forest. Music plays, with the Django-esque, jazzy feel of an old-time Paris bistro. Move the phone up, down, right, left, and you can see more and more of this colourful world — including that red chapeau, and an expressive mouse named Pepe, who is alternatively intrigued and stalked by a hat blown around by a stiff, persistent breeze.

If this sounds like the beginning of a Pixar movie, you’re on the right track: Motorola hired actual Pixar movie makers to create it, including the co-director of Ratatouille.

Teaming up with Pixar, Motorola was able to combine the phone-savvy with the Hollywood-savvy and give users the ability to control and follow the narrative by moving their handset around in the physical world.

The Google Play Store describes ‘Windy Day’ as:

Unlike a conventional film, we’ve given you control of the camera so you can explore. Every viewing is a little different. Look around — there are surprises where you least expect them. It’s fluid and natural because we adapted the controls from those used for precision planetary landings.

This video was released a few weeks ago in anticipation of today’s ‘Windy Day’ launch.

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