Augmented Reality is like music to my ears (couldn’t resist the pun…)
The music industry is known more for stifling technology innovation than adopting it (cough*Napster *cough) which makes it especially gratifying to see recent attempts to harness augmented reality for music lovers (and/or nerds).
Here are my Top 10 augmented reality projects created by the music industry:
10) StudioB, Adobe and John Mayer “AR video clip”
“Studio B teamed with Adobe and John Mayer to create the worlds first Augmented Reality music video. Studio B shot and keyed the green screen footage using the new Apple ProRes 444 codec. I’m holding up a piece of paper with the designated marker (in this case a broken heart), and the video of John Mayer follows it around the screen, and even tilts in 3D space!”
It’s impressive to see a major music figure dedicating his time for an AR app – but is this significantly more interesting than just watching this 3D video on your PC?
9) Video for German Band Saint Aside
Here’s a “me too” music video in Germany for the band Saint Aside:
“Germany’s first Augmented Reality music video of the band Saint Aside. Das erste deutsche Augmented Reality Musikvideo der Band Saint Aside. Powered by AUGMEDIA dem Virtual Reality Marketing Kreativ-Netzwerk aus Deutschland, Leipzig.”
8) Doritos and Rihanna deliver AR experience
Can’t really see the AR interaction in this video, but hearing Rihana say “Augmented Reality” is worth it.
“To view “Who’s That Chick” by Rihanna in full, simply buy a bag of Doritos Late Night and got to http://www.doritoslatenight.com
Using special packs of Doritos Late Night chips and a web cam, you can unlock an augmented reality experience with Rihanna.”
Triggering the experience from a consumer package is cool (no more printed markers!)
7) Kit-Kat and Scouting For Girls music
“Scouting For Girls – Augmented Reality with Kit Kat. If you open up a Kit Kat, do you see the augmented reality of Scouting for girls? Do the She’s So Lovely Stars really play in there? Join Scouting For Girls here to find out. Or, visit http://www.kitkat.co.uk/musicbreak“
Yet another music video triggered from a consumer package (Kit-Kat) – this time it’s more mindful to the new medium.
6) Eminem augmented reality competition by Polydor Records
“To take part all you need is a printer and a webcam – then, using the graffiti tools on the entry page, customize your very own 3D rotating Eminem “E” logo.”
“…enter the amazing Eminem augmented reality competition and you could win the trip of a lifetime to visit Em’s home town of Detroit”
Although not an AR music experience per se (more of a graffiti experience)- it’s definitely encouraging fans to interact with their idol in a new way. Talk about high profile motivation.
5) 10th Dimension create your own music video, TakingDog Studio
(Start watching at minute 2:03)
“Now you can create your own Augmented Reality real time interactive music videos for two of the songs from this project. Go to http://www.talkingdogstudios.com/10thdim to try it out for yourself.”
Anything that involves some creation beats “screen watching”.
4) Music mixer with 5Gum
“Truly interactive Augmented Reality Application. Log on to http://www.5gum.fr to record your mix.”
Making music with an augmented reality interface is a cause for celebration.
3) Aphex twin overlay on Audience faces
“At this weekend London Electronic Festival (LED) Aphex Twin used live facial recognition to map the audience and overlay images of his own, trademark distorted face. Mesmerising and disturbing in equal measure! “
This is one of these things that had to be done. And they did it – beautiful!
2) Lost Valentinos customizable video clip with AR
“Innovative Sydney band Lost Valentinos and label etcetc have pushed an emerging technology to the very limit by launching the world’s first truly interactive augmented reality music video project. The project allows fans to record their own customised music videos for the single ‘Nightmoves’ by capturing band members performing the track in the fan’s own world. From lead singer Nik performing the song atop a user’s shoulders, to the whole band playing the song at the base of the Eiffel Tower – it’s a project limited only by the imagination.”
Record your own video clip with AR? Can’t get much better than that!
1) Black Eyed Peas 360
The most impressive use of AR in the music industry so far and the reason behind this post:
“App review: The New ‘BEP360‘ App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch Takes Fans Inside ‘The Time (Dirty Bit)’ with 360-Degree Motion Control and Augmented Reality app Developed by Peas Front Man will.i.am”
Edo Segal, from Futurity and a good friend - is behind this initiative that attempts to redefine how we experience music.
Didn’t make the list:
- Voodoo Experience by Zehnder with Layar Augmented Reality browser (meant to enhance the concert experience – not to deliver a new way to experience music which is the focus of this post)
- Exile on Your Street – an AR app for Rolling Stones fans – built on Layar – it enables you to leave Rolling Stones posters at your current location.
Each poster can be customized with a track from Exile on Main Street and a personal message (no visual reference found)
- N-Dubz, Against All Odds record cover triggering AR by Total Immersion (couldn’t find a video)
- Album by hip-hop act Sinik, “Ballon d’Or,” include images giving access to ‘augmented reality’ features, by Total Immersion (couldn’t find video)
- Sean Kingston: printing a special icon in the CD booklet for his album, which gave users access to the special AR section of his website. They could then sing along into their webcams to Sean’s Fire Burning track, with an animated version of the star appearing to dance around them. There were sharing elements here, too – the resulting videos could be posted on social networks or shared on the main site. (via Music Ally)
- Lynx Augmented Reality Groupies on your desk (promoted a deodorant)
- AR in French Music Video by Toxic Avenger (not really AR)
Ok, that’s cool. But grab any music industry executive that gets it, and you’ll hear that the true value of AR doesn’t lie in helping promote music (the industry is pretty good at marketing music as is), but in creating new experiences, new products which will lead to new revenue streams (think Guitar Hero). The sober realization is that it’s unlikely people will buy more music than they already do – but they are likely to want to experience music in new ways, and through new channels.
What will it look like?
How would you like to experience your favorite band in the real world (AR style)?
Additional references for AR in the Music Industry: