Steve Vai’s Augmented Reality Music App Launches with “Zeus in Chains”

Today, Steve Vai and 4DR Studios debut his pioneering venture into performance capture using a volumetric approach. The video will feature his rendition of “Zeus In Chains,” enhanced with fan-created imagery from around the world, fostering a truly collaborative visual experience. Vai explains, “The virtual world represents the third wave of the digital revolution, following the Internet and social media. Our goal is to explore new avenues for experiencing music, creating an immersive fan interaction within the realm of artist performances. This marks the initial step towards a broader vision of exploring augmented reality in the virtual world through co-creation with fans.”

The Zeus in Chains app leverages cutting-edge technology to deliver this innovative experience. Using volumetric video, the app generates a hyper-realistic 3D model of Steve Vai, which can be integrated into the real world via Augmented Reality. This state-of-the-art volumetric video was captured at 4DR Studios using their advanced 4D Views technology, ensuring unparalleled quality and immersion. Natasja Paulssen of 4DR Studios remarks, “Authentic visual representations are crucial for the virtual worlds we are forging. Volumetric video creates lifelike 3D avatars that capture genuine emotions, infusing digital realms with soul. Our collaboration with Steve exemplifies this. This app marks the beginning of a journey into emerging virtual worlds, enriching both music and the new realms it embraces. Steve, a visionary artist and innovator, leads the way.”

Several years ago, during the Bridge Festival in Eindhoven, NL, Steve Vai and Muziekgebouw Eindhoven’s Director Edo Righini engaged in discussions about holographic technology. This interest eventually led Vai to Natasja Paulssen of 4DR Studios in the Netherlands, where they realized the potential of capturing his performances using volumetric capture technology. As Vai recalls, “Edo introduced me to Natasja Paulssen, Creative Director of Dutch Rose Media and 4DR Studios, the pioneering volumetric capture studio in The Netherlands. We conducted a test shoot in Eindhoven with 48 cameras capturing every angle of the performance.”

Vai elaborates, “Natasja’s team developed an app that projects my performances into the world through the viewer’s phone. Users download the app, select a location, and with a tap, I appear in 3D, seamlessly integrated into their surroundings. They can move around, film from any angle, creating an interactive experience.”

The app launches today, available for $2.99 on Google and Apple App stores. The first 60 seconds of “Zeus in Chains” features clips captured with the app, inviting fans to contribute additional footage. Fans can upload 10-second snippets using the hashtag #VaiEverywhere, directly sharing them with Steve for potential inclusion in the final video. Vai encourages, “This app allows users to visually capture my performance of Zeus in Chains in any environment. While I’ve created the initial clips, I urge fans to download the app and capture me performing in unique locations or situations around the globe. Upload your videos and help shape the final production.”

This announcement sets the stage for a groundbreaking intersection of music and technology, marking a significant leap into the future of interactive fan engagement and artistic expression.

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