Creating Content for Google Glass – State of Syn Case Study

Is it a game? A social networking app? Animated? An immersive experience? Live action? Welcome to the Google Glass ripple effect, or the new world of transmedia. State of Syn is an intricate mix of digital content created especially for Google’s tech eyewear.

The motion-enabled, 3-D graphic novel combines live-action photos with richly animated backgrounds to place participants within a sci-fi story. Here a woman is drawn deep into a murder mystery as she investigates the death of her father and the horrifyingly addictive mind controls developed by his old firm.

State of Synfeatures an interactive short film that sets the scene via Google Glass and a companion app for web, smartphone and tablet devices. It targets viewers who prefer stories that embrace several media contexts. It also aims to convert that enthusiasm into a larger audience stake.


Wearable technology has surged in popularity. Leading the way is Google Glass, introduced in 2012, with a long list of projects already launched or in development – including augmented-reality apps in health, real estate, e-learning, and entertainment. A few POV type documentaries and rudimentary mini virtual games exist.

Nothing truly immersive, though, stood out until State of Syn by Smokebomb Entertainment, the digital arm of Shaftesbury Films. Smokebomb itself is an award-winning digital media production company credited with groundbreaking original transmedia projects. Its content is meant for multiple screens – blending mediums that include apps, social experience, integrated second screen programs and webseries.

VP and creative director Jay Bennett shares some insights on Smokebomb’s recent Google Glass venture.

State of Synconsists of eight five-minute episodes. Resources from the Canadian Film Centre’s ideaBOOST- Mind Pirate lab and the CMF’s Experimental Stream went into its creation.

Hulu recently acquired rights for the series, as well as for three other Smokebomb projects. Since the company tends to avoid short-form content, Jay Bennett thinks the highly engaged fan base helped turn around Hulu’s marketing perspective.

Victoria Evans
Victoria is a strategist and content producer with over a decade of experience in traditional media and digital interactive content. Her work with several media agencies, including five years spent co-steering as partner of Stitch Media Inc. has seen her recognized with 20 awards to date including a 2010 nomination for Canadian Producer of the Year with NextMedia. She is also a prolific speaker at major events and has educated and mentored media professionals transitioning to the digital realm at Centennial College.
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