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Viacom Next Debuts Mixed Reality Music Video

VR and holograms come together in this unique music experience.

This week Viacom NEXT, the growing VR division of the Viacom media conglomerate, premiered its latest venture into the world of immersive entertainment: A hypnotic music video hybrid that combines holographic imagery with a virtual reality environment.

The intuitive project was announced at this year’s Microsoft Build Developer Conference which officially kicked-off Wednesday in Seattle. Collaborating with singer, producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Max Frost, the musical experience features several holographic renditions of the talented artist has he sings and plays a multitude of instruments set to his catchy 2015 single, “Withdrawal.”

Traveling through virtual reality scenes that include apocalyptic cityscapes and underwater vistas, you’ll see his various holographic counterparts jamming on elevating construction platforms, performing in front of an underwater fireworks show and even riding on the backs of gigantic manta rays.

Based on the trailer, the volumetric music VR adventure features some noticeably high quality holographs, due in large part to Viacom’s use of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Capture technology that is capable of capturing near photo-realistic replications of its subjects.

Chaki Ng, senior vice president of Viacom NEXT, expressed his excitement on the new experience: “Withdrawal opens the door to a new medium of music and performance; it’s a first look at the future of music-based VR content. Using Microsoft technology we can now create even more immersive worlds for audiences to explore and enjoy. Withdrawal is one more milestone in Viacom’s continued collaboration with pioneering artists and innovators to produce a new generation of personalized experiences for audiences around the world.”

Withdrawal is far from Viacom NEXT’s first attempt at immersive entertainment however. The VR production team has previously worked with Viacom entertainment partners MTV and Paramount to bring projects such as the deconstructed VR music album for Hot Sugar’s The Melody of Dust; an experience Rolling Stone magazine called “a new art form.” The New York City-based studio was also involved in the production of the trippy VR music video for the song “Chocolate” by Giraffage as well as the hit HTC Vive game, Smash Party VR.   

Withdrawal is currently available to attendees of the Microsoft Build Developer Conference. No word on when you can expect a public release as of yet.

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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