What is Creative Technology?

If you are part of the advertising, digital media, or the visual arts community, you likely have come across the term “creative technology” or noticed Creative Technologists popping up in your network. But what does creative technology really mean? How does it relate to you, the Art Director, Software Developer or consumer? Can technology be creative and can creativity be technical?

Creative Technology: The White-Glove Definition

Wikipedia defines creative technology as “a field encompassing art, digital product design, digital media or an advertising and media made with a software-based, electronic and/or data-driven engine.” They further cite examples of creative technology as “multi-sensory experiences made using computer graphics, video production, digital cinematography, virtual reality, augmented reality, video editing, software engineering, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, CAD/CAM and wearable technology.”

In English, Please

So let’s back-up a little. Starting as “interactive” a decade ago, digital media has since expanded into experiential marketing. Around 2011, pioneering brands and marketers started creating large immersive exhibits designed to wow audiences. Having grown weary of interactive banner ads and new media web tools, these forward-thinking content creators sought to use visual technology to build larger-than-life exhibitions that blew people away. Iconic examples of these early activations include Obscura’s Sydney Opera House and Audi’s A1 projection projects.

In 2015 the term creative technology became popular within advertising communities. By that point, emerging tech (motion sensors, VR headsets, beacons, smart technologies, etc.) had created new opportunities for companies to connect with audiences. Experiential and immersive content was (and is) still alive, though content creators now had smarter tools and the processing power needed to interact directly with environments and audiences.

Second Story's "Time Square Takeover"

Today, technology-based activations have taken creativity to a whole new level. Content creators have the ability to transport audiences into digital experiences, and, subsequently, have those digital experiences respond to their actions, motives, and interests. Additionally, prolific visual artists, such as Can Buyukberber, are reimagining immersive audiovisual experiences while forging new audience-focused opportunities for the brands they work with.

Moment Factory's "Kontinuum"

What is a Creative Technology?

The short answer is a lot of things, depending on who you ask (this can easily become a philosophical conversation). As co-founder and managing partner at Britelite Immersive, I tend to think of creative technologies as motion sensors, large format display hardware, generative design tools, interactive screens and surfaces, virtual and augmented reality, and even data platforms. For the average consumer, Creative Technology comes to life when…

  • You’re waving your hands in-front of a big screen and the designs and patterns mimic your movements
  • You walk into a company’s lobby and a digital wall displays a beautiful, abstract visualization based on the company’s sales data
  • You hold your phone over a retail product to launch related brand content and imagery
  • You place a glass on an interactive bar to launch a digital menu and place an order
  • You walk into a museum and have an interactive light sculpture respond to your presence by changing shape and color
  • You have a conversation with a holographic sales associate

The Creative Technologist

Creative Technologists are a critical bridge between developers and designers (if you’ve worked in the industry you know how difficult this can be). Typically, a Creative Technologist is a developer by trade, though they understand the creative process and have a wide skill set outside of coding. It’s not uncommon to find a CT that is a full-time developer and part-time Animator, 3D Designer, Visual Effects Artist, and so on.

At Britelite, we believe design is more than aesthetics; it’s a modality that combines art, user experience design, and technology. As such, Creative Technologists are critical to our overall process, as they have a unique understanding of the types of technologies that can be leveraged to execute a given creative concept. They have an expert knowledge of emerging tech and work closely with our traditional creatives to define technology solutions during ideation sessions. They are also responsible for R&D, early prototyping, technical direction, and managing software development. It’s a challenging role and a key part of bringing different disciplines together to execute a smart, strategic, and successful vision.

The Horizon

With the explosion of new technologies and smart devices, marketers and brands are constantly looking at technology as a means to engage, or even re-engage, customers. Similarly, consumers are constantly on the look-out for new experiences that they can share. As such, the creative technology field is growing exponentially – examples can be found in most creative industries including retail, fashion, art, the performing arts, advertising, and entertainment. In 2018 and beyond, creative technologies will continue to impact our daily lives, taking on practical roles to help us drive, shop, cook, heal, consume, and more.

Britelite’s “Immersive Research Center”


  • Recently our Executive Creative Director, Patrice Speed had the chance to speak on stage at the TIDE conference in Orlando and share a bit of our work process with an audience from all over the world. Now we’re trying to bring our panel on the Power of Interactivity back for a reunion at SXSW 2020. As one of the biggest hubs for bringing together people focused on innovation, it’s the perfect stage to continue this conversation. Click the link in our bio to read our latest blog and vote for our panel!! #sxsw2020 #sxswpanelpicker .
Vote for our panel here -
  • REPOST from • @touchdesigner ・・・
Automatic #projectionmapping of a #scalemodel calibration #technology custom made in #touchdesigner for #interactiveart in collaboration with @mb_labs
 #architecture #lightingdesign #3dprinting
  • Every year, the @grayareaorg Art + Technology Festival features new works, presentations and workshops. We attended some of the events, and there are two in particular that stood out, that really made us think long after the performance was over. #creativetechnology #immersiveart
#grayareafest #immersive #immersiveartist #interactive #interactiveartmuseum #interactiveart #art #artist #festival #visuals #audiovisualart 
Our latest blog is up, click the link in our bio! /blog/food-for-thought-from-the-gray-area-art-festival/
  • A list of must see creative technology works of art in #SanFrancisco! San Francisco’s art and culture have been increasingly intertwined with technology for the past several decades. Some of the products of that intersection are very visible, such as the Bay Lights, but there are many hidden treasures. Click the link in our bio to learn more!!!
#immersiveart #interactiveart 
#art #artist #sanfranciscolife 
Our latest Blog - Click the link in our bio!!!
  • Thank you @marpistudio - We had the pleasure of working closely with #Marpi Studio on a large-scale interactive installation! .
Repost from #marpi ▶️ @marpistudio Creating AI creatures with touch.
Wave Atlas teaser on (touchscreen) display at @sfdesignweek thanks to @briteliteimmersive
Models by @legible, Sounds by @gloom303
  • Our latest blog is up! Here at Britelite the discussion of what inspires us comes up daily. We storyboard, we mood board, we even pinterest, and we are always looking to our great community of digital artist to help propel our ideation process. Straight from the Britelite creative team, here are 3 digital artist that we love... CLICK the link in our bio! Artwork pictured from @chelleysherman .
We are looking to you to name the next artist we should feature, leave a comment below! .
#digitalart #interactive #installation #generativeart #installationart #interactiveart #darkambient #audiovisual #abstractart #realtimegraphics #creativetechnology #techlovers