Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

October 27, 2009

John Mayer, Augmented Reality, Music & You

Ready for the next generation of computer interactivity? Say hello to Augmented Reality! And start thinking about how you might some day use it to promote your music.
Not sure what it is? Don't worry. It's only recently become a hot buzz word (or phrase), even though the term has been around since about 1992.

Here's the most basic way to describe it: Augmented Reality (AR) involves the combination of real-world, real-time activity with computer-generated elements. It's the merging of the real and virtual worlds.

If you watch pro football on TV, you are probably familiar with the yellow first down line that appears across the playing field on your screen. The field and the players are real. The yellow line is artificially created to "augment" your perception of what is happening during the game.

John Mayer made news last week when he released the first AR music video. If you think this is like those JibJab or dancing elves videos where you insert your face into a motion picture, think again. With those, you take a still picture of yourself that was taken in the past and insert it into a video that can be shared with others.

That can be a lot of fun, but Augmented Reality takes it a step further by inserting people into videos in real time using only a webcam and a simple physical "marker."

Here are the instructions from Mayer's web site:
  1. To view this augmented reality, you must have the special Battle Studies icon. You can print this PDF (or open it on your mobile device).
  2. Turn on your computer's sound and webcam and turn off any pop-up blockers.
  3. Wait for the flash player to load (if prompted, authorize access to your webcam).
  4. Make sure the icon on your screen and the image you are holding are completely lined up (and don't move the icon until you see John).
  5. Enjoy the experience of augmented reality!
I haven't tried it myself yet, but apparently the live video captured through your webcam becomes part of Mayer's music video -- in real time. (Here's a video that shows a similar process.) Talk about interactive!

Honestly, I'm not sure yet how you go about creating an AR video on an indie budget, or even who offers this service yet. But I wanted to at least bring this technology to your attention.

Here are a few other articles on the topic:

John Mayer’s Augmented Reality Video Puts Fans in Picture

Lost Valentinos Augmented Reality Music Video

How Augmented Reality Works

Wikipedia's Augmented reality page

Augmented reality's time is coming thanks to smarter smartphones

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posted by Bob Baker @ 7:03 PM   3 comments


At Jan 19, 2010, 9:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool article. I'm in marketing and this is def. the new buzz word. Agree, it might be difficult to do on an indie budget, but you never know..

At Jul 12, 2010, 6:40:00 AM, Anonymous Janice said...

If you think this is like those JibJab or dancing elves videos where you insert your face into a motion picture, think again.

At May 6, 2012, 11:31:00 PM, Blogger MacKenzie said...

Sounds cool! Can't wait for the new John Mayer CD to finally be out on 5/22!


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