The latest collaboration between R/GA Tokyo and beauty innovators Shiseido fuses data, technology, art and brand purpose, creating a virtual time travel experience for visitors to the latter’s Global Innovation Centre in Yokohama, Japan.
Beyond Time is an immersive, interactive, deep-tech installation through which users can break the boundaries of time to experience ageing - instantaneously and non-linearly. Two people enter the installation from opposite sides and by looking through a digital mirror are able to see each other as they’d look years into the future, or the past.
R/GA Tokyo’s executive creative director, Niklas Lilja, says the aim of Beyond Time is to stimulate deeply meaningful conversations between users, helping people see each other in a new light and bringing them closer together.
“We wondered what would happen if people experienced the spectrum of ageing with a loved one, in an instant - if a parent became younger than their child, lovers glimpsed each other before they met, and friends grew old together in the blink of an eye. Being able to explore different sides of one another outside the boundaries of time is an emotional experience that gives people a new appreciation of each other in the present.”
Decades of Shiseido skin research were combined with groundbreaking facial data capture and processing technology, resulting in an experience which shows, in real time, how people look during various life stages. The bespoke 3D Facial Age Simulation Engine developed by R/GA looks at 1,300 facial data points, and compares them to a vast, bespoke database of face models, also built by R/GA, enabling a scientifically-accurate ageing simulation in real-time.
R/GA Tokyo’s executive technology director, Anthony Baker, said the project was made possible by the close partnership between Shiseido’s Creative and Research teams, and an embedded R/GA Tokyo team.
“We were able to create a world-first, three dimensional and real-time age simulation engine in a relatively short period by working side-by-side with our clients, prototyping in physical and digital spaces, and constantly testing ideas. It shows the potential when we collaborate and shape teams for creativity and tech-driven innovation. We hope that this is just the start of an evolving deep tech, human-centric research capability that will help our clients make a meaningful impact.”
Beyond Time can be found at Shiseido’s Global Innovation Centre - a research institute and experiential space known also known as S/PARK, located in Yokohama.
“The role of the new Global Innovation Center is to promote innovation by connecting consumers to knowledge and technologies,” said Shiseido’s chief creative officer, Naomi Yamamoto. “Beyond Time brings that purpose to life in a deeply emotional way, by letting people explore the boundaries of time and beauty through a unique experience that is, at heart, driven by data.”