Dare to Go Digital

3D projection mapping - painting the world with lightSource: Flickr

Bada bing bada boom! Just like the latest online casino slots, digital magic can happen on any device. In effect, the computer replaces the guy with the top hat and tails pulling rabbits out of hats and creates ‘magic’ before your eyes.

3D projection mapping is every marketer’s digital dream come true and if you can learn how to create this particular brand of magic you could be charging a whopping $10 000 a minute for your projection voodoo.

The more common magical arts of illusion and misdirection can also give you a corporate boost. It’s all about understanding the principles involved. Let’s look at some digital magic:

It’s just an illusion

Whilst some of the online tricks are simple recreations of traditional card tricks, others rely a combination of optical illusion, geometrical and/or mathematical illusions. Plato’s Cursed Triangle is one such game. It’s the kind of thing that can drive you insane! You see what you think you’re seeing makes sense – but it doesn’t. You’ll find yourself bamboozled, mystified, determined to figure it out. How is it possible? Play it again! Maybe it is best just left as a mystery? Maybe it’s just a fake triangle!

As in life, there are many ways to trick the eye on-screen or digitally in the real world. Mind bending, literally, like in The Hering Illusion where two vertical lines are both straight, but they look as if they are curving outwards is one thing; 3D projection mapping that tells stories and tricks the eye by digitally painting the world with light is highly lucrative next level illusion.

Come into my parlour

So spookily accurate, an online trick called “Lady Esmerelda’s Crystal Ball” has freaked out many members of the online community. With mystifying ability, it appears that the internet does indeed have access to our thoughts, making participants justifiably nervous. Imagine, the internet having access to the inner workings of your mind?! How is it that the computer can always identify a symbol you have chosen from a large list of symbols?

Part of every successful magician’s repertoire, the subtle art of misdirection and its compadre, the concept of ‘forcing’ allows this online phenomenon to work. In effect, the digital magician appears to give you a large amount of choices from which to select, which makes it seemingly weird and cool that whatever symbol you have picked is correctly identified.

Alas. It’s a set up. You are made to believe that you have many choices, but in fact you really haven’t. You are being forced into a certain choice. For example, if you were asked to pick a card from a standard deck of 52 cards and a magician correctly ‘guessed’ the card you picked you would be suitably impressed, right? However, it wouldn’t seem that mind boggling if they correctly identified your card as the 9 of Hearts when the whole pack was 9 of Hearts!

Online crystal balls that read your mindSource: Flickr

Forcing the result

A sneaky type of forced result is present in Esmeralda’s Crystal Ball which has participants pick a, two-digit number, add its digits together, minus that total from the original number, then find the symbol corresponding to the final result from a large range of symbols. This in effect ‘forces’ the user into picking a particular symbol while creating the illusion that they are freely choosing one from an extensive list.

Without going into the mathematical explanation, the basic principal is that whatever number you chose and then perform the adding and subtracting formula on will always be a multiple of nine. If you look carefully at the cunning online psychic trick’s chart of symbols and numbers, you will quickly see that every multiple of nine possible as a result jumping through the operation hoop is represented by the same symbol! Even more enticingly devious is that fact that each time you ‘play’ the symbol table changes, but still, the same symbol is used for every multiple of nine.

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