Viral Video: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Bugs Rube Goldberg


Don’t get bugged out by today’s viral video because you might just get free power. Trending on YouTube, with over half a million views, is one of the most inventive ways to charge your smartphone: insect power.

Snapdragon, a brand of mobile-system-on chips by Qualcomm, the wireless telecommunications company, has found some good use for the little critters. The video is circus themed, with marching band music playing, as an array of different bugs interact with objects to provide power for a smartphone.[more]

In a nod to Rube Goldberg, a praying mantis rides a bicycle and a spider walks a treadmill which spins the merry-go-round with a beetle on it which causes the ping pong balls to rotate, making more beetles walk them as a scorpion and two roaches run on hamster wheels. And what better for a circus than a cannon ball finale? Cue a beetle being shot out of a cannon through a ring of fire.

Very impressive, Snapdragon (and Denizen, the agency behind this). But is it real or a Volkswagen-like bit of CGI wizardry?

Replying to that same question on their Facebook page, Snapdragon says, “Well, Wired examined the science behind the Bug Circus. Take a look and let us know what you think:”[more]

The answer? it would take just over 1 MILLION seconds or almost 13 days to charge the smartphone in this way (if you can train a praying mantis to ride a bicycle).

This is quite the setup, and is also inspiring to me to point out an older video that made its debut in July, racking up 2.8 million views.

It’s 2D Photography’s photography themed Rube Goldberg machine. It pretty much uses every aspect of photography to make it work, with the exception of old school developing chemicals. From iMacs to tripods to lighting instruments to cameras – if you’re a photography guru, this video is for you.  Four minutes is an impressive amount of time for a continuous rube goldberg machine. Learn more about it here.

It’s nice to see such inventive creative ways being used for promotion instead of something completely random and unrelated, like using a jump-roping car to promote a jacket. And click here for more brands inspired by Rube Goldberg.