In fact, according to a 2016 Greenlight Insights report, people were less excited about VR’s potential for gaming (sixth on the list) than attending live events (number three on the list).
In an age of machine learning and gadgets, virtual reality opens new doors to what’s possible in entertainment. While the industry is still in its cradle — affordable VR headsets are quite a recent phenomenon — the music industry has not been slow to catch on.
Here’s what you should look out for.
Live Goes Virtual
The most obvious example of VR’s entry into music is the live concert experience. Vrtify is an American company that offers virtual concerts from bands like Coldplay, Twenty One Pilots, and Of Monsters and Men.
With Vrtify, users simply pop on the headset and choose from where to watch. You can be in the audience-section, of course, but also on stage — or even backstage.
A company that’s taking it even further into virtual reality is Austin-based startup WaveVR. As Adam Arrigo, CEO and cofounder of the company told Forbes:
“TheWaveVR is the world’s first social platform for virtual reality concerts, enabling music lovers to view, host, and socialize in shows anytime, from anywhere.”
WaveVR allows users to create virtual concerts, and the possibilities are mind-bending. You could display the DJ as an animal, create your own light-show or simply change the entire venue at the drop of a beat.
Other VR-companies are broadening their spectrums to include wide varieties of content. MelodyVR, for example, recently entered a licensing agreement with Sony to distribute VR content by Sony’s impressive artist roster.
The company is also experimenting with more responsive forms of content, such as interactive music videos, where you can paint your surroundings according to your taste.
Visual Audio Exploration
If concerts and music videos aren’t your thing, perhaps Inside Music is more up your alley. Google recently partnered with the podcast Song Exploder to essentially deconstruct songs in virtual reality.
The Inside Music project breaks a song down into its individual components. The drums, vocals, bass, and guitar are all separate pieces, represented by a sphere, which can be viewed in virtual reality and turned on and off.
While being in a 3D environment, you will hear the music playing all around you. That means you can listen to an instrument playing behind you, and turn around to look at its sound waves and even touch it.
Finally, if you want a less immersive experience, there are gadgets out there which could — possibly — be classified as “VR light”. One such product is the Basslet. It’s a small, flat box attached to a wristband. It essentially wears like a watch, but it doesn’t tell time.
It tells beats.
A remote unit samples your music and wirelessly transmits this to the Basslet which vibrates with the bass of the music. You’ll get the experience of being in the club in your kitchen.