Reality TV Redefined, Recorded on Sony Xperia Smartphones

This is the kind of reality TV that teaches you something educational as opposed to showing common sense lessons, like don’t dive into the ocean wearing $75,000 diamond earrings. (If you don’t know to whom I'm referring, I envy you.)

Sony Ericsson gave an astrophysicist, surf photographer, BMX biker and a group of artists living on a ship a Sony Xperia phone. The challenge was simple: create something with the smartphone and document the process.

It’s not a novel concept by any means for brands to give bloggers or brand enthusiasts and influencers a sneak peak at an upcoming product. The end results here were educational, entertaining and fun. Have you ever used a gas flame as a flash when taking a picture? Exactly.

The Sony Xperia line officially launched Sept. 7. In all, 10 individuals and groups were given phones. Videos are hosted at XperiaStudio.com and Sony Ericsson’s Facebook page. Fans of the brand’s Facebook page are able to view videos one week before they launch on XperiaStudio.com.

“Each collaboration was different. Some had a few days, others months,” said Cedric Devitt, Executive Creative Director at Lbi, the agency behind the campaign. “We worked closely with each collaborator to make sure we gave them the right phone with the right features to best complete their project.”

“We basically looked at the mobile phone marketing space and decided it was pretty boring -- there's a features arms race going on where everyone is talking about megapixels and deep Twitter integration, and nobody is really demonstrating the amazing things you can create with smartphones,” added Pete Johnson, Group Creative Director of Lbi.

One video features a group of artists that live on a ship in Copenhagen. Over the course of three days, the group placed messages on a moving scraper bike unseen to the naked eye but visible in pictures. My favorite creation from the crew came in the form of a gas flame that shot out each time a picture was snapped. Talk about flash photography.

Another video stars an astrophysicist whose goal is to also accent things that are naked to the human eye, like gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet, optical, infrared and radio wavelengths. Joshua Peek created an app enabling people to see electromagnetic patterns in the sky that are typically visible only through electromagnetic telescopes.

My favorite video shows a group of BMX bikers in New York who use the Xperia phone to geotag ideal stunt locations and record successful and unsuccessful stunt attempts. The group then went a step further by creating QR codes and placing them at specific points of the stunt. Each code is different and enables the user to watch the stunt filmed from that specific point of view.

The tagline “Reality Remade” closes each video.

The next video in the collection will launch on Sony Ericsson’s Facebook page Nov. 3 and online Nov. 10. In it, a man creates a 360-degree-angle camera, mounts it to his bike and rides through the canyons of Moab, Utah.

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