News: See how these cannabis brands are thinking outside-the-box

June 20, 2018 — By the Booth: See how these cannabis brands are thinking outside-the-box

Patio Interactive – 360 VR Tours of Facilities, Packaging & Product

What It’s About: Using 360 video, VR, and AR companies like Patio Interactive showcase cannabis farms, their tech and their production process (the next best thing to a good old-fashioned brewery or wine tour). This creative has limitless possibilities and can even act as an attraction for marketing and entertainment events or trade shows. On the consumer side, augmented reality sidesteps the plain packaging proposition creating a unique product experience that shows off brand elements digitally.

We chatted with Charles Bern (Co-founder of Patio Interactive) to find out what he thinks of the possibilities: “Brands can’t talk about any lifestyle-related benefits of their products but they can focus on other areas of differentiation. The market potential is in normalizing the product in the eyes of the masses. Winning brands can reduce the stigma by showing real aspects of their business, the technology they use and their processes to ensure quality”.Sounds pretty good to us.

Why We Love It: We love that this has virtually no boundaries. Creating content and incorporating animation and motion graphics for AR/VR means we can take promotion, packaging and brand differentiation to the next level, while controlling exposure to only those of legal age.

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Toronto Star: Pushing the boundaries Canadian cannabis companies

April 12, 2018 — Toronto Star: ‘Pushing the boundaries’: Canadian cannabis companies aim to skirt strict rules with creative marketing

Canadian agricultural tech company Future Farm Technologies Inc. is betting other cannabis companies will look to augmented reality, announcing plans earlier this month to spin off its augmented reality assets into a marijuana-sector focused Nextech AR Solutions, which will provide “augmented reality-enhanced packaging” as well as a “virtual budtender platform form for dispensaries.”

Toronto-based Patio Interactive offers cannabis companies who want to use augmented reality the ability to show customers 3D models of the cannabis buds for particular strains.

“They’re pretty interested in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” said co-founder Charles Bern.

Marijuana bill C-45 is not yet finalized but the proposed rules stipulate, among other things, that it is prohibited to publish, broadcast or otherwise disseminate promotion of cannabis or related accessories or services “by presenting it or any of its brand elements that associates it or the brand element with… glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”

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The Globe and Mail: Marijuana firms use creative marketing tactics

APRIL 12, 2018 — The Globe and Mail: Marijuana firms use creative marketing tactics to skirt strict regulations

Toronto-based Patio Interactive offers cannabis companies who want to use augmented reality the ability to show customers 3D models of the cannabis buds for particular strains.

“They’re pretty interested in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” said co-founder Charles Bern.

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CBC News: High-tech firms get ready to light up the weed industry

Feb 14, 2018: High-tech firms get ready to light up the weed industry

In a trendy studio in Toronto’s fashion district, shared by several tech start-ups, you can slip on a pair of glasses and be transported to a weed production facility thousands of kilometres away. 

Users of Patio Interactive’s virtual reality lens can walk through the building, touch the cannabis buds, and learn all about where their weed comes from.

It’s just one of many tools that tech firms are using to slice out a piece of the cannabis action as legalization nears. 

“The boom has already started,” Charles Bern, the founder of Patio Interactive, told CBC Toronto. “The levels of innovation, technology, the ripple-effect of the industry has already been felt. Companies have been gearing up.”

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Interactive Trophies at PWC’s Vision to Reality

PATIO was excited to have been tasked with the interesting project of creating the ultimate in innovative trophies for the PWC Vision to Reality Awards. PWC and PATIO have worked on many ongoing collaborative projects with creative themes, anywhere from virtual reality demos to innovation conferences. We knew the trophies for this event had to be cutting edge and represent the creative culture at PWC, so we got to work creating a number of different mock-ups including the following:


Our team met with the event coordinators at PWC, who chose the winning designs. After that; production time. Our PATIO fabrication shop crew went to work with the laser cutters creating 15 customized trophies.We designed our trophies to be interactive and twitter responsive, so anytime a guest at the event live tweeted using the hashtag #V2R, the trophies would launch into a colorful lights display.


The event was a success and our team was invited to participate in the festivities/meet some cool people. In true PATIO fashion, we also brought along our Oculus Rift headsets and demo-ed some awesome 360 video virtual reality.


Lions and Tigers and Drones! Oh My!

Visitors at the Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park saw a new attraction this week when PATIO’s newest 360 camera found itself the new desired playtoy of three curious african lions. Strapped to the bottom of a DJI drone in a rather macgyver-like fashion, our newest samsung gear 360 camera took a dive into the lions pit to film some exclusive 360 video footage of the magnificent animals.


All of this was to aid in the efforts of the Lioness Woman’s Club to raise money for a new enclosure for the lions. Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park is funded through their official Charity, the Endangered Species Fund of Canada, and like many charities, the struggle to raise money can be an uphill battle. While this sanctuary has provided great rescue and rehabilitation services for these animals for many years, they are now finding themselves in increasing need for funds. A large part of this is due to the increase in animals arriving at the sanctuary in need of their services, as well as the current park enclosures needing to be upgraded to best accommodate the animal’s needs. A donations page has been created to facilitate in raising money for the big cats here:  


In learning about the plight of the big cats and the Lioness Women’s Club’s effort to help, PATIO was ready with our 360 cameras and drones to “fly” into action. Much like Batman.

Adventures In the Lion Pit

While undoubtedly powerful, the animals seemed almost docile and even playful in the care of experienced zookeeper Carl, who allowed us to enter the enclosure on multiple occasions for a up-close angle of the lions. Maybe a little too playful – in true cat fashion, one of the lions, Samira, took the first opportunity for batting practice with the novel ball-on-a-stick toy. If nothing else, it left us with officially the coolest excuse ever for owning a scratched up monopod.


And of course; whats a trip to the wildlife park without a little exploring? Around the end of our trip we also got to say hi to some other fun mammals including a Bengal Tiger, a Ring-Tailed Lemur and (our favorite) a sassy Fennec. What do you think – new PATIO mascot?


Meet: the Samsung Gear 360 “Virtual Reality” Camera

Check out our latest cutting-edge addition to the PATIO tech line-up! The Samsung Gear 360 camera was announced at the 2016 Mobile World Conference in February as Samsung’s very first 360 “virtual reality”camera. Check out the specs on this innovative device:


Camera Quality

The revolutionary camera holds two 180 degree 15-megapixel fisheye lens with a bright f/2.0 aperture and is able to capture 360 degree fully immersive photos and video, being recorded at a resolution of 3,840 x 1,920 pixels.

Battery and Storage

The Gear 360 is powered by a 1,350 mAH lithium battery, said to last up to two hours of continual shooting, and is replaceable with a spare for extended shooting times. The device also has the capability to support 128GB microSD cards, giving it the ability to shoot seven hours of high resolution video at a time.

Device Compatibility

The Samsung Gear 360 is compatible with any current Samsung Galaxy phone and VR headsets, as well as with recently released downloadable software for Windows. Rumor has it that Samsung is also considering writing software compatible with Mac, but this has yet to be confirmed.


Upon the announcement of this camera, PATIO staff had been eagerly awaiting the chance to get our hands on this exciting technology to start creating some amazing 360 immersive content. To the anxious dismay of early adopters and tech-lovers alike, Samsung has remained relatively tight-lipped, refusing to discuss release dates at the 2016 Mobile World Conference or online for the baseball-shaped device. Although not currently available for purchase in Canada, PATIO was able to gain access to multiple Samsung Gear 360 cameras to start creating some seriously sweet VR content.


Since the Samsung Gear 360 has joined the PATIO family, we’ve had many occasions to use the virtual reality technology to help clients capture and relive the full, immersive experiences of their special and unique events on camera. We’ve had the chance to capture experiences anywhere from up-close looks into a lion’s pit, to posh rooftop evening events in the heart of downtown Toronto. Here are some examples of our more recent 360 video projects:


360 Video Tour: Vancouver Airport Baggage Screening

In partnership with the Vancouver Airport Authority, PATIO Interactive helped shoot a virtual reality 360 video of the new THR baggage screening procedure at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

With the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)’s new Transborder HBS Recapitalization Program, our client was searching for ways to educate and train its internal staff on the full THR baggage screening system.

The tour is presented by a Vancouver Airport Authority staff member, who takes us through the journey from a unique perspective within the screening procedure. The immersive experience is supported by guided movements and text animations to really help the viewer follow the process.

For site workers, this was a way to demonstrate and learn every step of the process even before setting foot on site. For others, it was a unique and educational way to visualize and understand the depths of the procedure and what happens behind the restricted scenes.

As one of the first of its kind, the 360° video was not only an effective tool for education and training but a great way to demonstrate the benefits of adopting new technology (such as virtual reality) for visual storytelling.

A major use of VR is already being seen within Education and Training — the possibilities of learning are everywhere and there’s potential for everyone, from mechanics to military to surgeons and beyond. For the youth, VR education in the classroom could be a revolutionary way to teach kids about the human body, or learn about the pyramids by virtually visiting them.

We look forward to creating the next immersive VR experience!

Lioness “Roars for Habitat” V.I.P Event

Ever seen a person painted head-to-toe in avatar-esque body paint, made to resemble a colorful tiger? These two seductively dancing figures – a man and a woman – were the first to greet our surprised eyes as the elevator doors dramatically and slowly unveiled the scene before us. Upon first glance, We weren’t entirely sure what we had walked into, but we knew it was going to be unforgettable. A man in elegant clothing positioned between the two dancing tiger figures ushered us into the V.I.P party, as a beautiful blonde woman to our left handed us a glass of champagne. It was going to be a good night.


Peering around the corner, we saw flashes of sequins and gleams of light from the silk of party goers long, elegant dresses. Chimes of laughter and a constant buzz of conversation filled the room and spilled out onto the ultra-chic open concept rooftop patio. Guests with perfectly manicured hair and pearly white teeth mingled and took selfies against the backdrop of the orange edging sunset against the stunning Toronto skyline. To our left, an open bar serving wine and champagne was accompanied by an extensive cheese buffet, soon to be followed by a chef-served dinner buffet.


The stunning rooftop venue at the Thompson hotel was hosting none other than the sold-out Lioness Roars for Habitat V.I.P Event, put on by the Lioness Womans Club. The purpose of the event was to raise money for a new enclosure for two lioness cubs at the Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park through the Endangered Species Fund of Canada. PATIO was very excited to have had the opportunity to help this great cause through creating some exclusive up-close 360 video content of the lion cubs for promotional use of the Lioness Woman’s Club. For that reason we found ourselves invited to the V.I.P event that night – along with the task of shooting some epic 360 video at the event.


Jenny KatKova-Brown, the founder of the Lioness Women’s Club, (yes, you heard right – her last name is KatKova-Brown and she is the founder of the Lioness Women’s club) said the following in a thick Russian accent, when asked about her organization: “I just wanted to find [and] to meet more women who feel the world the way I do. It’s a very simple organization which is designed to bring women who are united by their philosophy of life outlook together. It’s a very simple life outlook; let’s help each other, let’s mentor each other, let’s inspire each other, let’s expand our minds and let’s make this world a better place.” Seems like a great message! Not to mention they have sweet parties – we could get on board with this!


As the night progressed, guest appearances by performers including an African drum and dancing youth group and a talented female rock singer entertained guests between trips to the open bar. Not to mention a curious grape-eating Ring Tailed Lemur perched on the shoulder of expert zookeeper Carl, who traveled from the Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park.13413631_1257187517627482_1532294884122015770_n