What began as an ancient Celtic religious ritual to ward off spirits is now the end-of-October pumpkin-carving, trick-or-treating season that we know. Funny how things evolve huh? Something supposedly scary is now a fun activity for kids and adults alike.
For millennials and Gen Z, Halloween has become all about how creative you can get with your costume. Forget ready-made Frankenstein and pirate costume sets from budget stores, how much can you wow your audience or make them laugh?
The focus is to bring something fresh and relevant to the table now, and technology has been a huge factor to what makes a good costume today.
Having grown up with technology, young people of today are often and easily immersed in cultures that emerge online. In this age, keeping up with what’s been going on on social media is important in making a costume that's relevant and meaningful.
When the coronavirus officially became a worldwide pandemic in March earlier this year, a Twitter user posted this image with the caption “truly ahead of their time”, resulting in over 250k likes in a matter of days.
If you’re scratching your head right now, let me explain. This image is a frame from one of Anthony Padilla’s most popular vines from 2016, in which he voices over in a sing-songy manner “Two bros sitting in a hot tub, five feet apart ‘cause they’re not gay”. The vine garnered close to 500,000 notes before Vine was shut down. It continued to spread across different social media platforms throughout the following years.
What makes the tweet funny? In this case, one has to (1) know the vine and when it was trending, and (2) understand the current situation with COVID-19, in order to get the joke. It’s funny because saying that these two men were “ahead of their time” implies that they had already been practising social-distancing since 2016, despite the original vine suggesting that they were five feet apart because of toxic-masculinity.
I promise I’m not going off on a tangent here.
The point I’m trying to make is that good use of context is what makes posts fly on social media, especially on Twitter and Reddit. Halloween is different today because of how comedy has evolved for the younger generations. Their lives revolve around the internet now, and so does their humor.
In recent years, people have come up with an array of great costumes, referencing memes and events that trended on social media, creating a new layer of humor. It’s truly bizarre when you think about how much technology (specifically, the internet) has changed Halloween, and many of us have grown to love it.
When it comes to the more conventional spooky costumes, your mobile phone alone can do a lot to spice up what would otherwise be a regular costume.
Former NASA and Apple engineer Mark Rober is one of the pioneers for animated Halloween costumes that combine tech with apparel. In 2011, a Halloween costume Rober made went viral on YouTube, featuring two iPads connected through FaceTime, creating the visual of a hole blown through his stomach.
People applauded his idea but complained that 1200 dollars was too hefty a price for a Halloween costume, leading him to come up with an affordable solution, Digital Dudz.
With his apparel, all you have to do to bring them to life is download the Digital Dudz app and place your mobile phone into the costumes’ ready-made pockets. Their products include masks and T-shirts, playing with various ideas such as beating hearts, moving eyeballs, and blinking eyes.
Since his innovation took flight, people all over the world have been jumping on the bandwagon with similar concepts.
Engineers can have a lot of fun prepping for Halloween, the reason simply being — they can build things that others can’t. When it comes to costumes with impressive workmanship, engineers definitely have the upper hand.
Also one of Morphlabs’ costume wizards under Mark Rober, Thomas DePetrillo makes full body suits ranging from original designs to fictional characters from franchises like Transformers and Overwatch.
Other honourable mentions include Hong Kong based prop maker Cavin Lam who makes impressive Spiderman suits with mechanical lenses; aerospace engineer Diego Valdes, who’s best known for replicating the animatronic Gray Fox Helmet from Metal Gear Solid; and Alexis Noriega, who crafts mechanical wings with aluminium tubing and motors.
Without a doubt, they’ve raised the bar when it comes to costume innovation.
Tech is making big differences everywhere now — not just Halloween. Whether it’s in work or play, innovation keeps us growing as a society.
Have an idea that could change the game? Snappymob makes great apps for clients of all sizes and verticals. Let us know how we can help you bring your vision to life!
Snappymob is a passionate web and mobile app developer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have designed and developed awesome web and mobile applications for industries and companies around the globe.
We love our craft — the design, development, and the business of apps and this blog is our outlet for discussing what we think and sharing what we know with our community.