IoT has the ability to unlock enhanced experiences across a broad spectrum of industries, and music is no different. In fact, the advances being made across the industry are as plentiful as they are diverse. The Internet of Musical Things (IoMusT) is the ability of a computing device to exchange data in service of a musical purpose. From enabling virtual opera rehearsal to coordinating infrared signals to wearable LED’s during live concerts, the way we interact with and around music is changing.
Earlier this year we highlighted the manner with which wearable tech Is elevating healthcare capabilities. While IoMusT may not be utilizing wearables to save lives, it may just provide you with the thrill of a lifetime the next time you attend a live concert.
The enhanced experience begins when you arrive at the venue. We’ve all had the misfortune of the long lines that are typical for major events like pro sports or concerts. The ticket taking process by a multiplier of tens of thousands of spectators can damped the most ardent fans spirits. With IoMusT attendees can be issued a wearable ticket. It’s the difference between waiting in line while driving to pay the toll, or cruising through the EZ Pass lane.
Once inside concertgoers will soon be able to meet up with friends with similar ease. That wearable ticket you have on, it doubles as tracking device to lock in on your positioning. Now, those whom you have granted permission can identify your location with the help of pre-installed positioning systems. No need to shout ambiguous directions over the music and into your phone, to your lost friends.
During Taylor Swift’s 2018 Reputation tour, fans were issued LED bracelets upon arrival to the stadium. Using PixMob’s moving head projectors, the tour was able to deliver never before seen dynamic lighting effects. Ten of PixMob's moving heads trigger dynamic lighting effects and shapes via patented infrared light beams, lighting up fans' wristbands in sync with the show: "The beams are digital paintbrushes. As they pan and zoom across the audience, fan's bracelets light up," said Vincent Leclerc, PixMob chief technology officer.
But what about the pandemic and the cancellation of live events? How is IoMusT playing a role in the move to an increasingly virtual-dependent world?
Enter the San Francisco Opera and Aloha by Elk. Traditional video conferencing services run at a longer lag time than is desirable for musicians who are reliant on important musical cues to stay in synch. Aloha’s ultra-low latency service eliminates lag time that interrupts the creative flow. “Aloha is re-energizing our resident artist training program, allowing collaborative coachings to happen in remote locations, but with a degree of immediacy not previously possible,” states Matthew Shilvock, general director, San Francisco Opera.
Like most emerging tech, IoMusT’s progress does not come without its challenges. Chief amongst these is the problem of battery life within mobile units, and the low-latency needs of live events both in-person and on the web. But the benefits to musical expression, ease of access at in-person events, and future compatibility with AI all point to an ever-evolving landscape of IoMusT powered musical experiences.
For more conversations on IoMusT, be sure to check out Nick Jordan's talk with previous NFL player Brandon King and how he became an entrepreneur creating what's next for music concerts and venues.
Listen to episode 8, with Brandon King wherever you listen to Podcasts!