Anyone who has attended a concert in recent years can’t fail to notice the number of people who have smartphones held up, recording the ongoing gig. Not all performers and music fans are on board with this idea, but hip-hop star Eminem has embraced is, using smartphones and augmented reality (AR) to create new music experiences.
Eminem’s set at Coachella showed fans the visuals that will be displayed during the rapper’s US and European tour. The AR concert experience is geo-tagged, so only people within a certain distance of the concert venue will be able to experience the AR visuals.
“We figured, if the phones are going to be there and people are going to be putting them up in the air and looking at them anyway why don’t we provide a way to maybe change the way they’re perceiving the show,” says Def Jam chief executive and Eminem manager, Paul Rosenberg.
“Artists and bands have been freaking out about fans having this passive experience with their phones,” said a source close to the artist, “We wanted to experiment with… if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Why not embrace the technology and get people deeper into the experience and more engaged in the experience if they’re going to do it anyway.”
The Eminem Augmented app was created by Drive Studios, and also contained additional perks for attendees at the festival, such as footage of Eminem playing around backstage, or images that give an insight into how the rapper sees his music world.
Drive Studios creative director, Rich Lee said: “We started talking about getting VR and AR for a while. It’s only recently come about that this technology has come around to the point where we feel we could pull this stuff off.”