October 22, 2020 – POWSTER, an interactive creative studio/production company for over 150 movie distributors, has today announced in collaboration with Universal Music Group, music industry label Capitol Records UK, and Grammy-Award winning artist Sam Smith, that they have joined forces for the launch of a web-based augmented reality (AR) activation for Smith’s new single “Diamonds,” only available on Spotify. The project celebrates Smith’s new album, “Love Goes,” scheduled to be released on October 30, 2020.
POWSTER pioneered the concept, which was commissioned by Capitol Records UK and the Digital Marketing & Innovation department at Universal Music Group, along with the help of Dimension Studio, a volumetric capture film studio based in London, and 8th Wall, a computer vision software company that makes it possible to build interactive web browser-based augmented reality experiences (WebAR).
POWSTER utilized both 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 AR technology to trigger and track multiple volumetric video captures, creating a truly holographic experience, according to the company.
In the experience, fans can be fully immersed in the world of Sam Smith, viewing and interacting with a miniature AR version of the star dancing on their mobile device screen placed within the viewer’s immediate surroundings (on a desk, in a living room, etc), replacing a traditional music video set.
POWSTER employed the use of volumetric capture tech to film the artist in 3D, creating the first-ever three-dimensional AR artwork to be featured on Spotify, and marking a breakthrough in the evolution of album artwork on the Spotify platform, which has previously only featured static images and looping videos.
“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.”
Finally, George Harb Vice President, Digital Marketing & Innovation at Universal Music Group, said: “To use this augmented reality technology with music allows Sam to extend their artistry onto a unique canvas in the digital universe,” adding, “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.
Video credit: 8th Wall
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.