Director of Verizon 5G Labs: ‘Music artists can build entire worlds with 5G and MEC’
“I was able to create my own world,” music artist The Hxliday says in a video released by Verizon 5G Labs. “This is more of a creative thought process than any other music performance I’ve done.”
This Friday, The Hxliday will perform his new EP “The Most Beautiful Disaster” during an immersive virtual reality (VR) concert experience supported by 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) at Verizon’s 5G Lab in Los Angeles. The performance is part of larger partnership between Verizon, Capitol Music Group (CMG) and Motown Records, which includes the launch of a new Emerging Tech and Emerging Artist program that aims to pair three rapidly rising CMG and Motown recording artists with advanced content production technologies to bring the artists’ creative visions to life.
“[Verizon] see[s]5G as a tool for communities and culture,” Christian Guirnalda, director of Verizon’s 5G Labs, told RCR Wireless News, adding that emerging technologies are creating new opportunities for up-and-coming artists.
The performance involves a 5G-powered virtual production stage, a volumetric capture studio, game-engine technology and a suite of Extended Reality (XR) production tools. Guirnalda explained that inside Verizon’s lab, these tools are running on the carrier’s 5G millimeter wave network, which results in enhanced motion capture abilities and the ability to record and stream data-intensive 4K video.
This is certainly not the first attempt at using 5G and other advanced technologies to enhance the experience of viewing a music performance. For example, In December 2020, Ericsson and AT&T created and delivered a live, three-dimensional augmented reality music performance that selected fans could view and interact with on their 5G smartphones.
However, Guirnalda emphasized that what sets Verizon’s efforts apart is the impact not only on the consumer, but on the creator, as well. “We know that 5G allows for the consumption [of these new experiences], but is also changes how [these experiences]are created too. Artists can build entire worlds that are a manifestation of their creative vision,” he said.
For instance, artists can choose to have the lyrics of their songs visible via augmented reality (AR) in concert venues for fans with 5G phones or their album art can be turned into a virtual and immersive aspect to the performance.
“Capitol and Motown are leaning into the future,” commented Guirnalda. “They are thinking about the next set of talent [and]recognizing that these are folks that are using new tools and technology to get out there and that it’s a new way to connect to a fan base because the younger generations are mobile and digital first.”
The immersive performance will be available in 180-degree live streams on TheHxliday’s YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as on Oculus Venues and Verizon’s 5G Labs site.
“We are exploring the bleeding edge here, and it’s going to be in partnership with the next generation of creators,” Guirnalda stated. “The network and the tools that sit on top of that network will be the arbiters to how we can connect with the idols that we see in music.”
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