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CES: Sony bows VR concert tech, LG introduces virtual DJ

Among the music-related innovations at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is taking place online from 11 to 14 January, are an ‘immersive reality’ concert experience by Sony, a virtual influencer and DJ created by LG, and Samsung’s in-car Live Interactive Virtual Experience (LIVE).

Japan’s Sony Corporation used motion-capture technology to recreate US singer Madison Beer as a CGI avatar for a performance of her song ‘Boyshit’, placing her in a virtual replica of Sony Hall (1,000-cap.) in New York, as seen in the video above.

The event was spearheaded by a newly launched division of Sony Corporation of America, Sony Immersive Music Studios.

A longer performance by Beer, who is signed to Sony Music-owned Epic Records, featuring a medley of songs from her upcoming debut album, Life Support, will made available on Oculus VR and PlayStation VR, as well as 2D platforms, later this year.

Sylvia Rhone, Epic’s CEO, says: “Madison Beer is raising the bar of what’s possible in a virtual concert performance and we couldn’t be more excited. With this cutting-edge collaboration of music and technology, Madison has brought her innovative vision to life in a unique way while taking it to new heights.

“Madison Beer is raising the bar of what’s possible in a virtual concert performance”

“This is another example of Epic’s commitment to empower our artists with groundbreaking opportunities to expand their creative options and engage fans through immersive experiences.”

In addition to the Madison Beer event, CES also sees Sony make available a live performance by Zara Larsson (another Epic artist) in 360° immersive sound as an on-demand stream.

For Samsung, CES represented another opportunity to showcase Harman’s LIVE technology, which, as IQ reported last week, would enable concertgoers to interact with artists from behind their steering wheels.

Elsewhere, compatriot LG introduced Reah Keem, an entirely fictional person who hosted the company’s livestreamed CES keynote unveiling its range of CLOi UV-C robots.

As seen on her Instagram page, Keem introduced herself as a songwriter and DJ (as well as a keen international traveller) who’s “so excited to be showing you some of the latest and coolest

from LG”.

Despite being entirely computer generated, Keem does have music to listen to: check out her (so far) only single, ‘Comino Drive’, on her SoundCloud account.

reahkeem · COMINO DRIVE

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Samsung reveals new drive-in concert tech

Harman, the Samsung-owned consumer electronics giant, has unveiled a suite of in-car audio products designed to capitalise on the drive-in concerts boom.

Two new platforms, Live Interactive Virtual Experience (LIVE) and Personal Audio Headrest, made their debut as part of Drive-Live Concert ExP, a concept which premiered at yesterday (7 January)’s virtual Harman Explore event alongside other prototypes for in-car gaming and audio recording.

According to Samsung, all three concepts could be incorporated into Digital Cockpit 2021, a tech-heavy dashboard interface would also allow drivers to check their health, make a conference call and edit video clips from behind the wheel. The 49” display “allows you to enjoy real-time gaming, online concerts, live broadcasts and more at a level of immersion that makes you feel like you’re really there,” says the company.

Harman says LIVE, in addition to offering high-quality audio and video from a choice of angles, would enable drive-in concertgoers to engage with artists in “entirely new ways”, including making requests, voting for the next song played or even “request that a specific instrument be featured in the next solo” (good luck with that one).

“We’ve entered a new era of music enjoyment, with live concert streaming and drive-in concerts taking centre stage”

5G technology, meanwhile, would provide real-time access to additional information, including lyrics and recommendations for similar music.

By combining in-car concerts with livestreaming (the technology would allow fans to watch virtual concerts in their cars, whether or not they are actually at the show), Drive-Live combines the best of both formats, says Harman, overcoming the space restraints inherent to drive-in shows but increasing the interactivity of livestreamed and virtual events.

“With traditional live events being put on pause, the demand for live music experiences is higher than ever. As a result, we’ve entered a new era of music enjoyment, with live concert streaming and drive-in concerts taking centre stage,” says Frank Moffa, Harman’s senior vice-president of car audio.

“At Harman, we understand that music and experience are deeply intertwined. Our commitment to ensuring the greatest experiences per mile is brought to life through our latest audio innovations. Powered by decades of acoustic expertise combined with our leading connected technologies, the vehicle can be transformed into the embodiment of a live concert with features that only Harman can deliver, ensuring fans can enjoy that undeniable energy and magic of a live performance no matter where they are.”

 


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