Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled a new project it’s working on called the Hypercube VR Experience, which is aimed at people who attend concerts and live shows to deliver a new type of immersive experience that allows them to do things like explore the stage and other relative content about the band or artist they’re seeing. This is primarily targeted at people who are physically attending a concert, as the Hypercube would be set up at the venue and have Gear VR headsets equipped with the experiences that attendees could immerse themselves in as soon as they put the headsets on. In fact, Samsung just announced that it would be partnering with Live Nation to stream Coldplay’s Head Full of Dreams Tour from Soldier Field, which just adds more to the notion that these kinds of experiences are entirely possible and something which fans would enjoy.
While this certainly sounds like it could be a fun experience for those who do attend a particular show where this would be, sometimes it’s not always possible to get to the show you’ve been dying to see for months. Maybe the tickets are sold out, maybe you just don’t have the time to travel to the location where the concert will be, if it happens to be out of town. Or maybe you just don’t have the money for the cost of the travel or the cost of an actual ticket to attend. Perhaps it’s both. This is where something like virtual reality concert tickets could be a nice alternative for those who really want to be able to visually experience the fun and excitement of a live show when they can’t actually be there. Companies like Samsung, HTC, and Oculus could allow people who own VR headsets a way to still attend their favorite concerts, view live streamed VR footage, and ensure they don’t miss out. The Hypercube sort of touches on this capability but is still only available to those who do actually make it to a show, however it displays that it could be possible to offer something like this to those who may be sitting at home.
Like any new technology it’s unlikely that any company would offer something of this nature without a sizeable number of consumers showing interest (save for Samsung as it’s already doing this in the near future), but companies could offer something like it on a trial or pilot basis where it allows them to gauge how much people would actually be interested in using such a service. Sure, the appeal of a live show is actually being there, in the middle of the crowd, seeing your favorite artists and bands up close, or your favorite stand up comedians, or whatever, but as mentioned above it might not always be possible for everyone to attend, and with the advancements in virtual reality this could be a nice way to sidestep those scenarios, allowing those who can’t physically attend a show to still have some of the experience of being there.
If you’re a fan of Portlandia, then you may have seen the premier episode from Season 6 which kind of plays on this possibility, albeit in a much less serious manner, where the two main characters mull over the idea of going to a festival called Pickathon, but instead end up deciding to use a service called You Had To be There. This essentially allows the two to put on these massive sphere-shaped VR headsets and accompanying gloves to control drones which are equipped with cameras and mics, so they can still travel around the festival while sitting at home. It’s a hilarious take on the possibility of the technology and despite the seriousness of the whole thing being at the lowest point possible, it’s not an idea which is truly outlandish or even impossible.
The experience portrayed in the show is definitely a lot more ridiculous, but that’s also the appeal of the show as it was made to be funny. The fact is though technology like this is entirely possible. Whether or not people would actually want to use it is another story entirely, but it’s probably reasonable to assume that being able to attend a concert virtually as opposed to not at all would be a viable option for many people. With all the things that virtual reality technology is being used for these days, it’s an interesting thought that there could be a market for something like virtual reality concert attendance.