Spark maximises attention by minimising dimensions with 3D printed queue

“Anyone wanna get 3D printed?” an editor’s voice booms across our open office.

“I do!” I reply as excitedly as is polite in such an environment.

What’s it for? Don’t know.

Am I just signing up to be some unpaid schmuck in an ad? Don’t care.

So on a sunny Friday afternoon I head to Sherson Willis, a boutique PR agency above an oyster bar that looks exactly like a boutique PR agency would look like on a TV show about a boutique PR agency.

I stand on a circular rotating platform while the quietest guy in the world waves a couple of speed-gun-looking scanners around me. A boisterous PR guy tells me to do something interesting that I can keep up for a few minutes, so I check my email on my phone, assuming it’s the most boring thing I can do other than stand with my hands at my side. Plus, I need to check my email.

It’s all relatively painless. Like being scanned at the airport when you forget you’ve got a 20c piece in your pocket, but slower and rotating.

“What’s this all for?” I ask the boisterous guy while the quiet guy checks the files and shows me what I look like.

“I can’t tell you anything,” the boisterous guy says, “other than it’s the world’s smallest queue for the year’s biggest phone launch.”

“So the new iPhone? With the 3D touch screen. I get it – 3D for 3D.”

“The world’s smallest queue for the year’s biggest phone launch,” he repeats, perfectly on message.

This morning I receive an email with photos of my 3D mini-me, printed by 3D Neoveo in Melbourne, and the above video about the process with Huffer’s Steve Dunstan. It explains that right now, as I write this, my 3D mini-me is checking its email in a queue for an as-yet-unspecified product (which probably rhymes with ‘schmiPhone’) at the Spark store in downtown Auckland.

Better it than me, though I’m still paying off my phone, so unless it’s queuing for something free, it’s going to to be disappointed when it reaches the front.

Last year, Spark embraced emojis for its queue. And Samsung got a fair bit of attention for its Smartphone Line. Our sister publication The Register recently looked at the psychology of queuing and mentions some of the innovations that could disrupt queuing, including mobile point of sale devices and GPS trollies. It didn’t mention printing a 3D version of yourself and having that queue for you, but with a week’s turnaround, it’s probably not suitable for the supermarket or the new restaurant everyone wants to go to on a Friday night.

But maybe a 3D mini-you could camp on the sidewalk for three days for you, if you want to buy the new Kanye sneakers. Or if you just want to be one of the first to buy the new schmiPhone.

  • This article was originally published on Idealog.

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