How Remote Performers Are Reclaiming Their Audiences
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As the world confronts coronavirus together, the continuing horrendous toll on human lives is rightfully taking center stage, but there are growing concerns from health experts that there are unforeseen and unpredictable impacts on people living now in different, difficult conditions over the past half-year.
Part of what makes us healthy and happy, with a good quality of life, is our emotional and mental health, and that comes from doing the very thing that defines us as a species: human interaction.
And perhaps the industry that best mirrors this need for human activity is also one of those most harmed by the current pandemic: the entertainment and performance industry.
What is a performance without an audience?
When music superstar Billie Eilish finally was able to do her first concert after a long standstill brought on by the global pandemic, she exclaimed:
“In quarantine, I realized on stage is the only place I feel like myself.”
And sadly, where she may have been met with raucous applause and cheers by thousands of adoring fans, all she heard when she said that was the deafening sound of silence. It wasn’t that no one was listening to her “Where do we go” Livestream, it was that she wasn’t able to hear what a single one of millions of watchers and listeners would have said if they were attending the concert live, instead of watching it from their computers.
All across the world, empty cinemas, quiet opera houses, and deserted stadiums bear witness to the stark reality of a world in lockdown, preventing people from enjoying sights and sounds of all kinds of public entertainment events would normally have provided: a chance to mingle, interact and engage with fellow human beings to share in the simple joys of a concert, a football game, or a theater play.
Remote performances and remote audiences
Of course, technology hasn’t been without remote alternatives. Even before the lockdown effect, we already saw concerts being held on gaming platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. From the music world alone, Billboard counts over 100 live events from a broad spectrum of technology conferences to major concerts that have been canceled or postponed, and many of these looked for alternatives.
Some global brands and independent events chose to take to the virtual space, using live digital broadcast and/or virtual reality elements to improvise.
Billie Eilish’s own livestream performance is a medium that thousands of other music artists and entertainment performers have started to do for months now. We’ve seen virtual DJ concerts being done for charity like the crypto-backed The Giving Block has organized several times this year.
So these events have filled the gap so far. They’ve at least made it possible for people to still get entertained from their own homes, enjoying sports, music and theater all from the comfort of their own homes.
Yet there have been several shortfalls identified by these technologies.
From a results perspective, livestreaming events are looking at mixed fortunes, David Guetta’s United at Home Concert in May counted in 9.4 million views… but more independent tech startups like The Giving Block did not seem to get much traction from their efforts. Simply put, people just weren’t streaming in.
And perhaps this has a lot to do with the gap in terms of the interaction and engagement element on these virtual events, where the presence of people are generally missing.
As we said above, performers like Eilish wouldn’t be able to hear her audience. In Fortnite concerts, you only see yourself represented by an Avatar, and the performance is pre-recorded — meaning to say, there’s almost no way for a performer to react to the crowd impulse as they would in a real concert.
Part of that problem lies with the technology that focuses on Virtual Reality (VR), which does little to expand on or enhance existing realities. And this is why we believe that solutions like OVR Live are going to change this situation, by improving the way performers interact with their audience and vice versa!
Giving performers their audience back
In OVRLive, we are working very hard to build and refine the technologies that do just this. Inside, users are easily recognizable to each other by their facial likeness — as soon as you enter a room, you can recognize the host or DeeJay or performer.
And that’s just the visual aspect of it. Imagine if you could walk up to the front, to listen to the music better or cheer on the performer? That’s possible in OVRLive too, with Proximity Effects that mean the sounds coming from an Avatar become clearer as you approach them, and softer as you walk away.
With OVRLive, it’s possible to dance together with your friends, sing along loudly with another group, and let the performer know your compliments — in real time and in the same virtual room — all while attending remotely.
We know that the performer is nothing without their audience. And we know how much you love sharing and experiencing with your favorite artist.
And we hope OVRLive and other AR apps like it can be the better way for us to experience performances remotely. Until the world returns to normal, we will do our best to give performers their audiences back.
OVR is a cutting edge AR platform powered by the Ethereum Blockchain. OVR makes it possible for users provided with a mobile device or a smart glass to live interactive augmented reality experiences customized in the real world. OVR can be defined as a new standard in augmented reality where geographical experiences are based on the user’s position.
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