We've seen guinea pigs produce electricity for Geico. Now, Qualcomm goes even smaller—getting insects, spiders and scorpions to power its latest smartphones.
The company's latest online video, "Bug Circus Generator," created by the Denizen Company, shows just that—a customized miniature bug circus that generates power to charge a Qualcomm cell phone. You've got a praying mantis riding a unicycle, a tarantula on a treadmill, Darkling beetles balanced on Ping-Pong balls, and a scorpion walking the "Wheel of Death." (It's a wonder no one got bitten or stung.) Denizen took the whimsical job seriously, bringing in an electrical engineering consultant to accurately calculate the real-world amps the insects would generate, and what would be required to actually power the phone. The result, says the agency, is a functional bug-circus generator that is scientifically sound—emphasizing the super-high energy efficiency of Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile processor technology.
The inspiration is the flea circus—a classic circus sideshow attraction in which fleas perform acts in a tiny house. "Taking a bizarre slant on that concept shows that Snapdragon can be powered on virtually nothing," says Denizen co-founder Joseph Matsushima.
"No bugs were harmed in the process," the video says at the end. So, presumably they needed only one take to shoot that beetle out of the cannon through the flaming ring of fire. Hopefully it was paid—or at least fed—well.
Agency: Denizen Company, Los Angeles
Creative Director: Denizen
Agency Producer: Billy Baughman
Director of Photography: Lila Javan
Production Designer: Gabriel Abraham
Model Maker: Lawrence Pollman
Effects: Factory VFX