Augmented Reality Avatar of Bono Looms Over U2 Stage Set

British designer Es Devlin and U2 creative director Willie Williams introduce AR to the latest U2 shows.

The latest tour of world-famous rock group U2 will be featuring a giant augmented reality (AR) hologram of lead singer Bono thanks to the efforts of British designer Es Devlin and U2 creative director Willie Williams.

The AR features forms part of the band’s Experience and Innocence Tour, which began in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is set to continue until November 2018 where the final show will take place in Dublin, on U2’s home turf.

During the show, a ‘sculptural block of cinema screen’ will be positioned in the centre of the arena, playing a series of still images in the style of charcoal sketches. These images will act as triggers for the AR content, which attendees will be able to activate using the U2 Experience smartphone app.

By holding up smartphones cameras to the charcoal images, the drawings are changed into AR images and videos. The first part can be activated during the pre-show music and will show animated images of the stage encased in an iceberg that slowly melts, flooding the arena floor and engulfing the audience.

The images then change to show U2 singer Bono as a giant AR hologram that towers above the audience and follows the movements made by the singer as he performs the first track of the concert, ‘Love Is All We Have Left’.

Devlin says that the images of the flood during the pre-show are meant to foreshadow the apocalyptic tsunami that is depicted during the half-way point of the show, with gigantic waves across the central screen during the performance of the song The End of the World.

The Experience and Innocence Tour follows on from the 2015 Innocence + Experience tour, with both tours drawing on music created for the Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience albums. Further information and tickets can be found on the U2 Tour website.

As usual, VRFocus will bring you news and updates on new and innovative uses for VR and AR technology.

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