Fifty years on from The Beatles’ legendary first American performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Sir Paul McCartney is back on the cutting edge of music with a little help from his friends, participating in a venture with virtual reality video company JauntVR that sees his performance at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park’s final concert broadcast in 360 degrees as their groundbreaking virtual reality viewer’s first offering.
“Paul is the perfect ambassador for this new medium because he’s so widely respected,” Jaunt vice president of content Scott Broock said of his company’s decision to place him on center stage for their new product. “A lot of people love Sir Paul McCartney.”
If you’re looking to enjoy Jaunt’s app for yourself, you can head over to their official website; it’s Android-only (an iOS app is on the way), and you’ll need a Google Cardboard holder (available through major online retailers; Jaunt recommends vendors on their site) if you want to take advantage of 3D video. Jaunt has also produced a 2D version for those without Cardboard.
Jaunt do not see themselves as a direct competitor to household-name Oculus, as they intend to focus on shooting and enhancing live-action video along the lines of McCartney’s performance while Oculus primarily concern themselves with interactive gaming experiences. Jaunt plans to be more friendly to the casual consumer by offering their app to anyone with an Android phone, while Oculus’ Rift will require dedicated virtual reality goggles.
Jaunt sees their business model as a path towards mass adoption of virtual reality technology on an Internet-like scale, breaking it beyond the domain of “techies” and right into the palm of a casual consumer’s hand.
For McCartney’s part, Broock is hoping his reputation as an innovator and forward-thinking artist will inspire fellow musicians to follow his lead. Broock sees JauntVR implementations like McCartney’s performance as “…a fascinating new way to reach people with their music in a completely different way. You can put people right there with you onstage, giving them access they would not otherwise have.”
Broock sees great things for JauntVR’s future, suggesting that the McCartney concert heralds a regularly-updated stream of captivating VR content to come in the near future. “There’s going to be a lot of content coming out by year’s end.” One can only hope we will soon be able to go on our own Magical Mystery Tour in an immersive 360 degrees.