The past few months have been difficult for everyone, and Synaesthetic was no exception.
Aside from the challenges that many others are facing in these uncertain times, we here at Synaesthetic have had to accept another difficult reality; that our brand and content needed work because it wasn’t aligned with our customers and values. Although the name was accurate, unique, and authentic, it fell short of being accessible - which is a core value of ours. Not enough people could pronounce it, spell it, or knew what it meant… it failed at the basic utilities needed in a name.
Looking for a replacement has been a huge challenge. The bar was so high in terms of depth of meaning to a name, that no four-letter mashup or quirky valley misspelling could do it justice. No, when it came to encompass the wide range of concepts and potentials we see in our mission, we were outspoken to the point of being lost in a sea of words. Fortunately for us, a fleet of online articles around rebranding and naming saved us from drowning and allowed us to discover a core feature of who we are.
Synaesthetic literally means to mix the senses, and in the figurative sense it was also relevant; our goal is to enhance people’s empathy— their ability to connect with each other by creating immersive, sensory-woven experiences. Thus being a connector, bridge-builder, a thread, or the adapter between two different entities has come forward as our core value. This aligns well with the diversity of our team and their lived ethos, where we celebrate inclusiveness and are open-minded to differing ideologies, things, and people.
In light of this, we have grown our vision to now offer “The World’s First Connected Ambiance Platform”, which augments any multimedia to be immersive and more engaging. Whether it be streaming music or watching a movie to working out or gaming — weaving content into your physical space can enhance a UX immensely, engaging users to be more focused, emotive, and effective in that activity. For this reason, we envision our technology and products as an enabling force for a new generation of UXs, products, and capabilities for many years to come, as a pioneering fundamental technology.
An example of previous such technology is “the loom”; a centuries-old weaving tool that enabled the fabrication of widely used textile products, to the point it has taken on the symbolic meaning of creation and independence. Without the loom, we wouldn’t have clothes to keep us warm or dignified, boat sails to travel the oceans, rope to fasten things together, and so much more. The loom, which comes from geloma or “tool” in Old English, is truly a jewel of human ingenuity that accelerated our advancement.
Equally, if not more important, was the invention of artificial light. From the most basic forms such as candlelight from animal fats to the incandescent lightbulbs of Edison, or today’s digital LED+ displays… wielding light has unparalleled utility. Being able to operate at night, we reclaimed time from nature that other creatures were forced to waste resting. With light, we illuminated our lives to be fuller, and our minds to be brighter, and our society to be more productive. Lighting products were another simple yet powerful solution for society.
With these two examples in mind, I’d like to present our new brand — aloom.
“Aloom weaves multimedia into your environment, with light. We tether content and stories into your physical space’s ambient lighting to make any UX more engaging. By threading more of your senses into an experience, we drive engagement to a whole new level. With sensory-woven UXs that hems the digital to the real, we let you feel more. Laced just right, aloom takes people where they haven’t been before, tailoring next-generation user experiences.”
Aloom will replace Synaesthetic and LAVA as both a brand and product name, although our core technology and strategy is still based on synesthesia.
Over two years in the making, aloom represents the blossoming of a vision that feels surreal in its clarity. Honestly, when I started Synaesthetic, I had no idea of the bigger picture and depth of the project I was playing around with. It is only recently with the help of a great team that together we have uncovered the core diamond of our mission — to aloom society.
This comes at a time that is the golden age of neuroscience; through new tech tools, we are able to see into people’s minds and understand the most complex thing nature has to offer — the human brain like never before. One doesn’t have to look much further than Elon Musk’s Neuralink which is pioneering Human Machine Interfaces literally on the edge of the brain, or how Dr. Li-Huei Tsai of MIT studies audio-visual gamma ray stimulation for Alzhiemer’s treatment to see the astonishing capabilities we are quickly approaching. After an unprecedented couple centuries of mastering the physical world around us, of focusing on our outside… we are finally starting to peer within and understand what we see.
The pandemic has only accelerated this — leading analysts are calling 2021 “The Year of the Immersive Web”, where digital content and UXs will even more deeply integrated into the fabric of society. After 2020, the year of a collective global “time-out” — where we all relearned how to wash our hands and spend time alone… mental health and mindfulness are at the forefront of the zeitgeist of this coming year, if not this coming decade.
So, as you stream your 10,000th episode and continue to cocoon into a hopefully better new year — I invite you to reflect on your relationship with your home and the outside world, and how it could be aloomed.