Coachella. The very word is so loaded with everything that this three-day music festival embodies: music, heat, desert, celebrities, fashion, and…. technology?
By now I am sure many of you read about the Tupac hologram that “performed” Sunday night. Let me tell you, it was a religious experience for someone who has loved Tupac as long as this kid. While that was not HP’s doing, we did have a pretty cool set-up there ourselves that I got to check out behind the scenes.
That’s right, folks. HP officially took the party down to the Coachella Valley in the Palm Desert and I, being the music festival fan that I am, got the chance to enhance my own experience by checking out what we collaborated with Beats to do.
Now, I planned six months ago to go to the show on my own dime. When I found out that we were going to be installing the very cool 3-D streaming product, Photon Engine, as well as showcasing our Spectre laptops in the Beats tent—and that I had a shot at a VIP pass myself!—I got very excited to squeeze just a little bit of work into the mix.
So I hiked my way over to the main stage on Saturday to meet up with HP’s Carlos Montalvo. He took my sister and me behind the ropes to see what they had going on underneath the stage: ground control for Photon Engine. The set-up is something like this: 3D cameras on the main stage capture the acts in 3D to share with Photon Engine, which was set up for live 3D streaming in the comfort (read: escape from the heat) of the Beats tent (if you are not into a swelling mass of sweaty, gyrating bodies). I personally would rather be in the swelling mass, but I did take the opportunity to sit in the speaker chair pyramid with Beats headphones to watch the 10-foot screen project the show as it was happening all the way across the grounds.
(HP did something similar last year during an Earth, Wind and Fire concert, shooting live, streaming 3D concert footage. You can read about that here.)
The effect is pretty awesome. You feel like you are but 15 feet away from the main act and the 3-D glasses help make it a super-immersive experience, without the hindered ability to stand without getting pushed around. I have seen other installations of Photon Engine, so I kind of know what to expect; but taking my sister under the stage to explore all the back-end stuff with me and watching her see it all for the first time made me realize just how cool it really is. Her eyes just went wide as we talked to Jarrod and Ryan in the booth and she made it quite clear that she thinks this really is quite the “epic” employment of technology in a situation like this. She also thought it was pretty neat to meet some of the guys behind the technology, not to mention doing so behind the stage.
All in all it made me mentally add another room to my dream home: the Photon Engine theatre room for watching concerts. Can you imagine having the ability to stream Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg for your party guests?! Sign me up.
What would you like to see perform in 3D if you couldn’t be there live?