Come face to face with your favorite artists in ways not possible otherwise, using a VR headset, or held your smartphone up to watch airplanes racing over the streets of Shibuya… in AR.
AmazeVR just launched its most recent Virtual Reality concert, with UPSAHL, and you can try it for free, if you’ve a VR headset, using the Steam platform. Next October, people walking down the busy streets of Shibuya, in Japan, only have to hold their smartphone up to the sky to watch the final tournament of the Air Race X, a kind of Red Bull air race with a difference: the planes are not there, and everything happens through the magic of AR!
These two examples of the future of entertainment show exactly what Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality bring to the world of entertainment. They point towards a future where virtual events will become common, not competing with real world events but extending the potential for artists and performers to reach larger audiences.
The UPSAHL VR concert, published by AmazeVR, is the third in a series of VR concerts that bring to the world of VR performers as Megan Thee Stallion, whose VR concert was launched a few months ago, Zara Larsson, with a VR concert released mid-July and now UPSAHL. AmazeVR is really building a catalog of titles – to which the names aespa and KAI will be added soon.
A performer performing just for you
The AmazeVR app, which is available on both Steam and Meta, allows users to watch a song from each of the available performers, but expects them to pay for the whole concert. The recent Zara Larsson VR concert, featuring the Swedish artist, costs $6.99 for a year’s access to the four-song set. The difference from a regular concert is that you get a front row at an exclusive VIP concert, with a performer performing just for you, with the added thrill of traveling to a stunning new world inspired by the music and artists you love, with effects that would be, in most cases, impossible to get on a real stage.
Although the line up of artists does not fit into my musical preferences, I watched the demos on Steam – I had previously watched the demo for the fantastic Megan Thee Stallion VR Concert – , and one has to be impressed with what can be achieved with those 180 degrees 3D videos. That’s where VR shines, while it also shows the potential of immersion these 3D videos create. Believe me, if you like the type of music – and AmazeVR say they will have other styles added to the catalog – you should buy a VR headset. Now!
VR concerts are the next stage of music
AmazeVR says these are concerts reimagined for the VR era. By infusing VFX art and storytelling with industry-leading technology, AmazeVR concerts are bringing you the next stage of music. Production wise, these concerts are different from anything else too. AmazeVR says “there are two things that set VR concerts apart. First, we shoot the artist in high fidelity stereoscopic video. Crystal clear footage of the artist will make you believe they’re right in front of you. Second, we build virtual worlds using Unreal Engine, designing unique environments for every concert. With added interactive features, you’ll feel like you’re part of the performance.”
Founded in 2015, by a passionate team of experts from the music, entertainment, tech, and gaming industries with a vision to create the future, AmazeVR had a clear goal: to become the platform where every artist can create their own VR concert and every fan can experience front-row seats to their favorite artist, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. The success of the company’s first live VR Concert tour with Megan Thee Stallion, helped to take the next step, and create, in partnership with SM Entertainment, Studio A, a VR Concert production company focused on K-Pop artists.
The AmazeVR Concerts are a one-of-a-kind VR concert platform. It’s a space where users can experience their favorite artists up close and personal. According to AmazeVR, “each VR concert is custom designed for the artist and their musical style and vision. We look forward to growing our VR concert library and bringing artists of all genres closer than ever with their fans.”
Air races over the streets of Shibuya
The second example of entertainment reaching new heights (pun intended) comes from the Air Race X event, to be held October 15th over the streets of Shibuya, in Japan. The world’s most skilled pilots compete against each other in the “F1 of the skies” where they use all their physical and mental strength to achieve the fastest times at speeds of up to 370km/h and maximum gravity acceleration of 12G. Air Race X is back, a “5-dimensional motorsport that transcends time and space”.
The planes, though, will not be flying over the people walking the streets of Shibuya… and that’s where the magic of Augmented Reality and the advanced technology of “STYLY” sign in. By holding up an XR device or mobile device running the “STYLY” application https://gallery.styly.cc), spectators can watch the race planes fly through the streets of Shibuya as if it were happening right before their eyes. The race will also be broadcast online to the entire world, allowing visitors to enjoy the excitement of the race on live media, just as have done in previous air races.
Air Race X, launched by the world’s top air racing pilots, is a new take on the classic air racing that has thrilled and excited people around the world. The goal is to revive the legacy of air racing and build new value as sustainable motorsport that will be passed on to the next generation, using cutting-edge digital technology to transcend time and space.
A new style of air racing
Only the use of modern technology allows this event to happen and give spectators the thrill of watching the battle at speeds of 400 km/h in places such as the streets of a city where it would never be possible in the real world. In fact, what happens is that the same course is flown around the world, at remote locations, by the participant pilots, and times are measured. The measured data is then centrally compiled and used to determine the winner of each race. Digital rounds are performed for the remote format. The race course is set up at each pilot’s base with precisely measured positions and spacing.
Digital Round competition data is generated by collecting and analyzing ultra-high-precision flight data from the pilots aircraft flying around the world via the ARX website. The competition data is then visualized using augmented reality (AR) technology. On the day of the finals, the pilots will be able to watch their flights on the streets of Shibuya. ARX offers a new way to enjoy motorsports and aviation, and a race venue in Shibuya is now a reality!
The organizers expect to take this experience to other cities around the world, without the risks of having real aircraft flying over busy streets. The organizers expect to have a Grand Championship in 2024 and make it an event that happens each year. Participating teams will gather for real race events in the host country, but, as the organizers say, “a new style of spectating will be realized at the GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP utilizing XR technology. By establishing a new style of spectating enhancing the excitement of motorsports, we create sustainable motorsports”.