Augmented Reality Adds Outer Space Scenery To NYC Rock Concert
For the band Starset, adding an AR element to live performance seemed natural for fans who were already holding up their phones
The NYC band Starset, along with Juniper Jones, threw an “other-worldly” concert with augmented reality elements to enhance the experience. Concert-goers were instructed to download the Starset app, and when the time came a countdown began on each of their phones, signaling it was time to start.
“We created a fully interactive immersive experience, something that plays out throughout the tour and integrates within the app,” Juniper Jones CEO Kevin Robinson told PSFK. The app, while still in development, can also be used at home to buy Starship merchandise.
At the concert, attendees saw a huge spaceship enter the room and land onstage through their smartphone screens. Other elements such as lighting, digital displays and projection mapping all added physical elements to the virtual story.
Robinson said that the team focused on building an emotional narrative using AR for a larger purpose than just the technology itself. “The approach that we’re taking, I believe is unique. AR is obviously at the top of a lot of minds and a lot of things you’re seeing are kind of very one-dimensional. We’re thinking about it more from an agency perspective. How are we lending value to consumers and brands alike?”
It might sound a bit odd to experience a live concert through the little screen on your phone, but Robinson notes that it was an organic extension of what people are already doing. “I was worried about that, would this take you out of the environment and put you in this little screen on your phone? But it doesn’t do that.”
“It’s just at the beginning of the show—the lead in for their first set. A lot of people at concerts have their phone up; they’re recording the show at the same time that they’re watching it. It actually feels like a natural thing to do. We’re augmenting that experience.”
According to Robinson the show was a success, with audience members looking over their shoulders to see what everyone else was doing, and just generally excited to be participating in something so unusual. Juniper Jones has a few more AR experience projects in the works, engaging sectors like fashion, automotive and e-commerce.