In 2010, an urban dance culture called Jookin’ from Memphis TN had climbed from the ranks of Youtube to television appearances beyond that of an ordinary dancer auditioning for the current top rated shows. The Jookin’ art form became a cultural powerhouse achieving prime time television appearances with national artists birthing the independent careers of several Memphis based dance performers. By late 2011, after multiple NBA Playoff dance performances, a Grammy nomination and an invitation to feature on stage with a pop megastar at the Superbowl, Memphis Jookin had done it all and that was only the beginning. A grand gesture was on the menu for the culture via Menfes Interactive.
It was decided to pursue the development of an interactive educational dance series in light of modern efforts to advance performing arts into a desirable extracurricular activity. A manual written by Daniel Price and UDig Dance Company to reveal the essence of the style was implemented into a gaming entertainment research project featuring the moves of Jookin. Menfes Interactive was contacted by MoCap One, an animation developer in Manchester, UK to inquire about a need for animators to make an online game. En route to discussing the game’s development, we were informed that Augmented Reality mobile apps were emerging as a popular information source. It was a perfect opportunity to properly capture Jookin moves for virtual animated visualization and other innovative property developments. We decided to make something happen. In the Fall of 2012, Menfes Interactive travelled to MoCap One Studios in Manchester to create a virtual Jookin experience featuring widely known Jooker and national urban dance contender at the time, Terrance “G. Nerd” Smith.
The Finished Product
Out of the streets of Memphis came a street dance that had entered a new era in technology and was riding the wave of time. Menfes Interactive had produced a mobile device app that can scan tracking images to deliver 3D animated dance scenes. The most vital ability for this tool was to promote brands with Jookin and Augmented Reality. In December 2012, Memphis Jookin AR Dancer was launched on Android and later on Apple mobile devices in Spring 2013. Memphis Jookin made its mark in the entertainment industry and the app racked up over 10,000 users and 6,000 likes on Facebook. The project concluded to be an informative and promotional endeavor that offers a working model of an emerging platform that has future potential to draw the eyes and ears of consumers abroad.
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