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Innovative web-based AR activation allows music fans to bring the hit song to life through cutting edge technology
LOS ANGELES, California (October 22, 2020) POWSTER—an award-winning interactive creative studio/production company for over 150 movie distributors—in collaboration with the world’s largest music company Universal Music Group, music industry-leading label Capitol Records UK, and Grammy-Award winning artist Sam Smith, join forces for the launch of a web-based AR activation for Smith’s new single “Diamonds,” only available on Spotify. The project celebrates Smith’s highly anticipated new album, “Love Goes,” scheduled to be released on October 30, 2020.
POWSTER pioneered this groundbreaking concept, commissioned by Capitol Records UK and the Digital Marketing & Innovation department at Universal Music Group, with the help of Dimension Studios, a revolutionary volumetric film studio based in London, and 8th Wall, an award-winning computer vision software company that makes it possible to build interactive augmented reality based in a web browser. POWSTER used innovative volumetric capture and WebAR technology to bring the vision to life. In addition, the “Diamonds” experience is the first to use 8th Wall’s image target augmented reality technology to trigger and track multiple volumetric video captures, creating a truly holographic experience.
Now with this innovation, fans can be fully immersed in the world of Sam Smith, viewing and interacting with a miniature augmented reality-version of the star dancing on their mobile device screen, replacing a traditional music video set with the viewer’s immediate location, whether it be a work desk, kitchen table, or living room.
POWSTER employed advanced technology and creative design to develop this activation, utilizing cutting-edge volumetric capture tech to film Sam in 3D, creating the first-ever three-dimensional AR artwork to be featured on Spotify. This breakthrough activation reflects the evolution of album artwork that previously only featured static images and looping videos, encouraging Sam Smith fans to play the song on Spotify and scan the canvas visual to unlock their own personal concert.
Once the mobile phone camera scans the Spotify image marker, AR technology initiates an interactive “Diamonds” experience with a miniature dancing Sam Smith hologram. Fans can also interact with the experience by pressing on the screen to release a shower of on-screen diamonds timed to the chorus of the song.
“This AR project is an artistic and innovative approach to enhance the Spotify experience by Sam Smith, who is a champion of featuring unique content tailored to any platform they engage in. We’re excited to bring AR to Spotify, utilizing volumetric capture technology allowing people at home to see Sam Smith perform from any angle,” said Ste Thompson, CEO and Creative Director of POWSTER. “Sam Smith’s music isn’t visually expressed by just one music video, rather they communicate the message of the lyrics through multiple collaborations, using platforms to their full potential by creating custom content and innovating. We’re excited to be working with Sam Smith helping them provide a virtual experience for their fans.”
“We’re always looking for innovative ways to collaborate with labels and artists, and so we’re really excited about the launch of this unique experience,” commented Nikos Antoniou, Senior Manager Artist and Label Partnerships at Spotify. “Canvas adds a new dimension to the artists’ vision and combining an audio experience with a visual one to enhance listening further, allows fans to engage with music content on our platform in a brand new way.”
“To use this augmented reality technology with music allows Sam to extend their artistry onto a unique canvas in the digital universe,” said George Harb Vice President, Digital Marketing & Innovation. “The marriage of Sam’s art and imagination, coupled with innovative technology, allowed the creation of this groundbreaking experience that will live on within the metaverse eternally and no doubt inspire others.”
The Diamonds experience is available on Android and iOS devices with the Spotify App and in addition to English, will also be localized in Japanese and Spanish. The experience can be accessed at diamonds.samsmithworld.com.