Roman Rappak’s Miro Shot band returned to SXSW again this year for an updated mixed reality, live concert performance with a much needed upgrade from the high-latency and outdated GearVR headsets to the much more cutting-edge HTC Elite mixed reality headsets. There was a capacity drop from around the 100 GearVR headsets that he had for his MR performance last year down to just 7 HTC Elite headsets where Miro Shot played the same song on repeat for a couple of hours inducing a trance-like vibe where you listen to the same some on repeat. He’s been able to really streamline the experience and find a real sweet spot in live mixing this juxtaposition between short VR journey vignettes and mixed reality passthrough moments where you can see a modulated version of the live band performing on stage.
Live music has it’s own compelling experience, and I feel like Miro Shot was able to find a good mix of preserving what makes a live performance compelling versus exploring the affordances of virtually-mediated embodied experiences. Most immersive concert experiences are far from having any live performative aspect at all, and even if it is live, then sometimes it is indistinguishable from it playing back in a canned, pre-recorded version. The liveness of the live of a musical performance is preserved in this mixed reality context, and Rappak continues to explore the more digitally-mediated domains on the Ristband platform that I covered in it’s launch last year in my conversation with Rappak and conversation with his co-founder Anne McKinnon.
There was an interesting time-constrained exploratory aspect in this latest Ristband translation of this experience, which created a digital twin of the SXSW venue where he played, which happens to be called “The Venue” in Austin. You’re on a quest to find some character who will give you the chance to buy an NFT you find him, but you also explore this sci-fi cityscape that has a radio broadcast that’s playing some of Miro Shot’s latest songs — especially the one that they performed over and over again during their intimate, immersive preview experience that they would play to make available to certain fans ahead of their concerts. Within the virtual experience, I found myself loitering around the speakers to hear the music, but then realized that I could move around a bit more once I found the main virtual music venue, which again was a digital twin copy of The Venue.
Overall, Rappak, Miro Shot, and Ristband continue to tinker and experiment with this fusion of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. I feel like there are some really compelling dimensions to this fusion and juxtaposition of virtual reality and mixed reality, especially coming from a touring band that is prioritizing different live elements. Rappak has a monitor where he watch what the audience is doing and paying attention to, and then dynamically alter the pacing and sequence of immersive vignettes based upon that feedback. Sort of metaphorically similar to a DJ reading the energetic vibes of a crowd that would provide intuitive omens for what experiential dimensions to fuse in next. This type of attention towards the unique character of live performance is something that I have not seen a lot of other innovation around. There’s a tendency to want to just automated it at that point, and then what live performative element does the human have to offer at that point? These are the types of questions that Rappak is continuing to interrogate and explore in these types of explorations, and this latest iteration is a huge leap in quality and coherence of the experience and on the bleeding edge of the next generation of headsets with the HTC Elite. Incidentally, while the diopter on the HTC Elite is really cool, it also introduced quite a bit of onboarding friction and potential confusion for new headset users who may not be familiar with the need to twist the diopter until what you see is clear. It’s impossible to wear my glasses in the HTC Elite, and so when they’re trying to turn around 7 people every 10-15 minutes, then every delay in onboarding over the course of a few hours accumulates to having potentially dozens of people unable to see the experience. So the ease of onboarding and offboarding for folks new to VR is a key factor here. Either way, the HTC Elite was a huge upgrade from the GearVR, but there are still some things to consider for the HTC Elite in this type of LBE context.
But overall, Rappak and Miro Shot continue to push the needle forward when it comes to mixed reality live performance, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they continue to seamlessly blend the physical and the virtual with live musical performance.
This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.
[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast. It's a podcast that looks at the future of spatial computing and the structures and forms of immersive storytelling. You can support the podcast at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. So, continuing on in my 24-episode series of looking at different experiences and folks at South by Southwest, today's episode is with Roman Rapak, who is a part of the MirrorShot band and also is creating this wristband platform. And so, MirrorShot last year did a whole mixed reality live music performance where Roman and his band with MirrorShot were on stage and had around 100 people in the audience last year with Gear VR headsets using the passthrough mixed reality mode. I did a whole deep dive with Roman last year on the evolution and journey of this piece. And this year I was able to do a very quick update with Roman after the live performance that he had with Mira Shot that was happening at the venue in Austin, Texas. And so this year it was much more scaled down in terms of like only like seven or eight people got to see it. at once because they had like 20 different HTC Elite headsets, which is the latest iteration of HTC's standalone headset. It's got this diopter control where you can shift for focus so you can wear it without your glasses. It's really close up to your face. It's really lightweight. I'm not sure how good of a location-based experience type of headset it is because it is like a lot of things like you have to adjust the diopter and put it on. It's not as streamlined for location-based experience. I feel like the HTC Elite is more for folks that are gonna use this more lightweight headset. on their own because it's like additional friction for onboarding and everything. But anyway, they're using a high-fidelity mixed reality pass-through of HTC Elite. There's the band up on stage, and you're kind of switching back and forth between the mixed reality pass-through and going on this immersive virtual reality adventure where there's some scenes on Unreal Engine where you're going through these different locations like a city or a mountain or open field. And throughout the course of this piece, Roman is live mixing, and so every performance is actually a little bit slightly different. You're going back and forth between, when I happen to see it, during the chorus, you're having the mixed reality pass through, so you sing the band, sing the chorus, and then in the verses, you're kind of going more on this immersive venture. So the whole idea here is that in the beginning of his concert, they would have this more intimate experience for people to go through, and he's playing this song over and over and over again for a couple hours, because there's only like seven people that can go through at a time, and then while people see it, they're having this whole immersive experience and adventure that is connecting them to this whole experience. I personally loved listening to that same song over and over again. I just thought it was like really catchy and it kind of creates this meditative trance-like experience from the audience member's perspective. If they're there waiting in line with the anticipation to see what is going to be the immersive component that can cure this audio sign track on this repeat. Almost like if you find a song that you really like and you just put it on repeat and listen to it over and over again. It was kind of like that, but like a live performance of that. And I've never actually seen that before. And I realized that most of the time when I listen to music, it's in that repeat or just kind of like get myself into this trans state. So I found myself getting into that trans state and to see all the different innovations that he's able to do over the course of last year with this live mixed reality performance. And so anyway, we do a bit of a quick dive into that and we don't talk as much about the wristband component, but there is another component where people remotely can go into this virtual reality experience through like a browser based pixel streaming. So it's really high fidelity. And you kind of go on this adventure and to find a digital twin of this video to be able to listen to that song remotely. But there's also this finding this Jagermeister character that then allows you to like buy this NFT if you find it. So Yeah, I found that a fun way to do this translation of what they're doing in this mixed reality performance into this whole other platform that we covered a lot more last year in the two discussions that I did with Anne McKinnon and Roman Rapak to be able to break down the wristband platform. This was mostly about the mirror shop mixed reality performance because it was a very short time that I had to chat with Roman before he had to go back and rest and do a live performance there at 11 o'clock that evening as part of the end of the immersive virtual reality component of South by Southwest, which only had an exhibition on the 12th, 13th and 14th. So anyway, that's what we're coming on today's episode of the voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Roman happened on Tuesday, March 14 2023 at Southwest Southwest in Austin, Texas. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.
[00:04:30.668] Roman Rappak: My name is Roman Rapak, I play in a band called Mirror Shot and we have developed a new way of blending XR with live music. So it's a concert which is the show that we play before our regular show so it's like an intimate, immersive experience and the kind of hook I guess for people who are in the XR community is this isn't go to a place, sit down, be put in a headset on your own. We use the pass-through camera so that people will know which is the I guess the AR part of the headset, so the cameras on board the headset, because the crucial part of what we, I guess, believe in with this as a technology is that it's not going to be about people on their own in their rooms or going to raves in VR chat. At this stage, the technology is early and clunky, but as Apple release a headset and as we get XR contact lenses and there's a layer of the virtual over everything, that eventually there'll be all different types of content that you experience in the real world with a layer of the virtual. So this is our kind of first step towards it.
[00:05:36.206] Kent Bye: Nice. Well, I guess last year I saw the Gear VR version, which maybe was the first step. This feels like a second step, or at least maybe a third or fourth. So maybe you could talk a bit about what has changed since last year.
[00:05:47.190] Roman Rappak: I guess the thing that I think holds people back with tech is it's quite expensive to put on an XR experience. It's quite expensive to get developers and do all that. So that kind of means it does become quite elitist. The direction it goes in as an art form is kind of dictated either by a big company or by someone who's raised a lot of investment or someone who's got a big brand partner involved. And I think there's an analogy with what happened with synthesizers, right? That originally synthesizers were only for prog rock stadium bands because they were super expensive. And so they were this symbol of like having tons of cash and being able to do things with this brand new technology that was expensive. And I think what's happening now is because of things like Unreal Engine and because of the headsets getting cheaper is that it is getting in the hands of people who are maybe not aligned with a brand or a corporate entity and I think that's traditionally when things get interesting with new tech.
[00:06:43.688] Kent Bye: Yeah, and so last year was on the Gear VR, which is, you know, relative to the VR industry, has been out of use, let's say, in terms of the broader industry. But that's the gear that you had, and you had, like, over 100 different headsets, and that's, you kind of made do with the tech. But this year, we basically have, like, HTC Elite, which is, like, the cutting edge of what VR, mixed path through XR devices have to offer. So how did that partnership with HTC come about?
[00:07:08.720] Roman Rappak: Well, the other thing I would say that the side of the artists and the people who are in the independent space using technology, there's also the other side of that story, which is there are people in the corporate space and the people who you think of as, are they just a big company that actually are employing people who are like Zara from HDC. is someone who understood what we were trying to do and wanted to support us. And it wasn't because we were doing a big branding exercise or anything. She was someone who's an example of someone who is looking at the way this technology is being used outside of just a BMW advert or a really expensive installation. So I think there's two sides of it, you know, in the independent space using new tech, but also in the corporate space and the tech space merging with the art and the independent world. So we kind of met in the middle, I guess.
[00:07:58.667] Kent Bye: So yeah, I guess the other aspect of the spirit of going on a journey in some ways, I felt like in this experience, I felt like I had a little bit more agency to be able to direct where I was going, and I could see the other people. It felt like it was one of those types of experiences where I felt the presence of other people, even though they were kind of represented by these little circles. But it made me realize that I could actually guide myself around. And so maybe talk about trying to take people on a journey, and what kind of journey were you trying to take people on with this experience?
[00:08:28.603] Roman Rappak: Well, in a way, I think that there's two questions there. Because the one thing is like, if we are using this medium, this medium has its roots in gaming, right? Using a game engine, you suddenly have to understand the kind of 40 years of game design. And in game design, it's like, what's the agency? Like, what agency do I have? Like, how do I interact with it? And I think in the early stages of VR, you can tell that from the 360 videos. And there were some amazing ones. But there is a point where you think, OK, this is just the last medium. It's still just video. I'm not interacting with it. I'm not doing anything. And whereas an entire generation of people have grown up with mediums that you can interact with. Like so in a game, you're you are powerful. You can fly somewhere. You can. And I think we've tried as hard as we can to put as much of that in this. So there are things that if people who because a lot of people aren't gamers who come to see it and there's loads of people who are who are VR gourmets, you know. And so being able to say, look, in Half-Life, Alex, we found this one mechanic that we really loved. And we can do something that's a nod to that. But also, we don't want someone to have to feel like they have to go through a hoop or collect a token or do this other thing. So they're kind of hidden within the experience. But the aim is to say, you can be someone who doesn't play video games and is used to passive media, which always sounds like a condescending term, but media that you don't interact with. But also, there is a playability aspect to it, which from the perspective of a musician or someone, you know, I made music videos before I made films, I've worked in the linear mediums. For me, this is a brand new thing, because you have to think, OK, it's not like the song starts and the song ends. It's the song starts, and I have to understand that one of the users might look at this thing. Or I have to understand that one of the users, because there's an element of randomization, they might appear in this area. And how do you use the things that are, you know, the sort of valve game design? which is you don't want to have a big instruction saying only do this and you have to collect that. You want the user to feel like they've learned it on their own and they're being guided by their curiosity rather than just on rails.
[00:10:33.897] Kent Bye: Yeah, and I'm curious to ask about the ritualistic nature of playing essentially the one song which is like seven to ten minutes and you you have like seven people that can see it at the same time and then so you have people queuing and then so you have like from like 715 to 940 you're playing here so somewhere between 10 to 15 or more shows that you just did. And then as you're playing, you're able to live mix the different journeys that people have. And so curious to hear about that aspect of the live dynamic nature of as you keep playing it, as opposed to just having one fixed way that people are going through it. And also the repetitive nature of this ritualistic experience of singing the same song over and over for two hours.
[00:11:16.164] Roman Rappak: Yeah, that's another good question. I guess the ritualistic nature of it is in a way our cheat code and it's why when we even had the Gear VRs that were, when we were at South By last time, all the tech companies had things that were light years ahead but they didn't have that strange magic of you're queuing up, you're going to a show, You know, it's the difference between listening to an mp3 and going to see a band play live, is that there are subtle differences and you're in that room and there's all these magical things that happen, which is, you know, the ritual of performance, that you go to the Greeks, why are we taken on this strange journey when we go to somewhere and someone performs, whether it's theatre or it's music. And with this, it's like people are already wanting to be immersed. So you've almost got past that. You know, when you go to a CES and you're walking past a thousand trestle tables with people saying, try this VR experience and you put on a thing and there's people walking past. It's actually harder for them to get you immersed because you've already, you're not in that kind of state. Whereas when you go into the cinema and you smell popcorn and you sit in a darkened room with red seats and the curtains go back, you're already buying into this idea that you're going to get lost in something. And so for us, it's like it fast forwards the immersion of it by it being a ritual of performance. And then in answer to your question about the repetitive nature of it, for us as performers, it's like, well, what are we actually doing there if it isn't different every time? You know, like we might as well, we might as well. And then the people have spoken to us about it. It's like, well, especially tech companies, you could just franchise it and just have engineers that go and they hit space bar and the song plays. Which is a good argument, you know, because actually, you know, the flights are expensive and hotels are expensive. So I like the idea of that. But then it's like, well, the whole point of the magic of doing it is this, which is why we installed this thing where rather than the scenes being triggered automatically. So I know that at the chorus, I'm going to fly you over a lake. I know that the bit that's the verse, I want the cameras to kick in so you can see the musicians live. I'm doing it live because It means I can perfect it, so by the last one I've got it really down. It's nerve-wracking because it means the first one can often be quite ropey. But with the idea of doing it live, it means that I can almost try and read the audience. So on certain performances, you can see people really getting into it. And I think, OK, these people are really up for kind of flying through the lake slightly faster. I've got a kind of a velocity for how fast they fly. And if they're not, I'm like, OK, let's kind of tone it down a bit. Let's ease them into it. And I think that's the whole point of this is, where's the gray area between performance, video game culture, and a concert?
[00:13:56.596] Kent Bye: Yeah, I really appreciated the pass-through moments because it feels like it's a bit of like building and releasing of tension where I'm putting into these virtual spaces and kind of taking on an adventure into like some sort of randomized set of different locations and contexts whether it's a forest or like more urban landscapes or you know into over mountains and so you have lots of different virtual explorations and then I cut back and then I see the stage and I'm back into this moment where I'm really fully receiving the song and just to feel the music that's around me is this other immersive aspect to the experience and so you know but to you know have that feeling of going into away from being present in the visuals of what's happening into this other etheric imaginal world and then coming back into seeing this and through this mixed reality passthrough with these different filters are kind of modulating, augmenting it. I thought that was really effective. Plus, I really enjoyed the song and there is a ritualistic aspect of kind of hearing the song over and over in anticipation of like, what's it going to look like? But yeah, I felt like there was a nice payoff to feel that like, transportative nature of the VR and then to be grounded in the reality and so like there's something about that juxtaposition that I felt worked really well and I don't know I there's mixed reality passes so imagine that people are going to be augmenting things and sort of overlaying but I like being able to kind of flip out of the different levels of reality so anyway I just I just appreciated that juxtaposition.
[00:15:21.970] Roman Rappak: Yeah, I think that that's, in a way there's a sort of a metaphor for what music is. That you can go to a festival with friends and a song that you've heard a thousand times, a chorus comes in and you are completely transported and then the verse, it's a sort of the dynamics of music, isn't it? That you get taken to these enormous highs and then you get the point where they're almost delaying the bit, almost sort of teasing that this moment's going to happen. And so for us, it's like, well, we have this palette, which everyone can say, OK, did the strobes come in then? Does the distortion come on the guitars then? Or does the drummer do this? But we have this extra tool, which is, are they in reality or are they not? Which, from a musician or a filmmaker's point of view, is like the dream. It's what you always try and do with a song. It's what every filmmaker wants to do and every musician is just suspend reality momentarily for the viewer or the listener.
[00:16:13.767] Kent Bye: So I guess from a music perspective you have the verses and the chorus and so for each of the choruses you see the mixed reality pass through and for each of the verses you're going into the VR is that right?
[00:16:22.533] Roman Rappak: Well I mean I'm able to change it each time so I'm kind of sometimes I feel like that works and sometimes I don't. I have a monitor that so I can see what you guys are seeing. And I'm kind of trying to fine-tune it each time, I guess. And it's interesting, because sometimes, when I initially started, I thought, well, it makes sense. In a music video example, it's a drone shot of something, and the intro comes in, and blah, blah, blah, blah, it goes past an apartment, and then this lead singer starts singing, and it's always a person on mic. And so when I initially started doing it, I thought, OK, well, that's kind of what we should do, right? Because you hear a voice and you're in this room, you logically want to be back in the concert. But it's interesting also to flip that where you're watching a band leading up to the bit and then just when the person's about to sing, that's when you're taken away. And then you suddenly start listening to the lyrics. and trying to identify whether they have a correlation with the visuals. And it's not even visuals, it's the environments, which has been a big leap for us to try and get. And last of all, one of the things that was based on your feedback last time, which I don't know if you felt it as much this time, was we've learned that people can linger in those spaces a lot longer. Because initially I was almost treating it like an edit, like going, OK, then the verse comes in and you go there. And we found actually some people just want to fly across a mountain for 25 seconds. And it almost let that break between I'm watching a concert, I'm watching a concert. They start to forget they're watching a concert. And then when you bring them back, it's more effective than if you sent them through, you know, a roller coaster or a lake or whatever.
[00:17:49.623] Kent Bye: Yeah, I thought the pacing worked really well in terms of how it was... I didn't notice that it was too long or too short. It just felt just right. And I also really appreciated the... I mean, you're singing a song, but you also have the onboarding and offboarding, and as you hear it, you hear sort of a narrative aspect of, like, what's it mean about VR, and kind of, like, you're in reality, this is real, you know, kind of like these questions, these existential questions and philosophical reflections that come up, our explorations of XR and what's it mean to be in these augmented spaces and to create these new relational dynamics. So also really appreciated that in terms of like not only having the musical component, which I really love, but also the narrative aspect of the narration. So yeah, I don't know if you have any other comments on that part. I felt like that worked really well as well.
[00:18:34.260] Roman Rappak: Yeah I think it's almost a kind of out of respect for how powerful this medium is that it's so easy just to be like turn everything up to 11 send them on a roller coaster which is you know everyone remembers that kind of first VR experience but it was that and it's like well It's so early for this medium. We are still at the, like, people running away because the train goes past the cinema screen moment where, OK, well, then there are these new things that we can say with it. And it might be a bit of a kind of a almost over obvious way of doing it. But we thought, you know, having an incredible voiceover. So we work with Eric Dellums, who is a voiceover artist. He was in Fallout. He was in Skyrim and in The Wire as an actor and all this. And his voice is so commanding. And we thought, well, maybe these moments where we're letting these people be in these spaces, it almost felt like a documentary or a video essay. And really trying to say, look, this isn't just going through a video game and isn't what it was. This medium is hugely significant. And regardless of whether, how many headsets are selling and how many Oculus is, you know, what's happening with Meta or whatever. It is a symbol of how we're increasingly moving into this world where the real and the virtual are warping and the area between them is becoming more vague, kind of a grey area. And so having this guy talk about the sort of thoughts and the implications of that in a kind of an abstract way, I guess, as well. He's sort of talking, there's a lot of metaphors in there, and there's a lot of things that aren't ramming at home, but that felt really powerful to us, to make the audience realize this isn't just going on a rollercoaster or a mental light show for a band, that there's some sort of heart to it, I guess.
[00:20:17.095] Kent Bye: Awesome, and final question, what do you think the ultimate potential of VR and future of music might be, and when it might be able to enable?
[00:20:26.097] Roman Rappak: I sort of think about this every time I listen to a podcast and I'm fascinated by people's answer in this and I think that like I feel as though my answer to it evolves every time we do a show like this or every time I listen to a podcast like yours and I think at the moment I'm really realizing that there's this slightly counterintuitive thing which it does help us connect to reality more and I feel like it's almost a cliche but it's the moment where you take the headset off and reality seeps back in that that's almost the most powerful thing because you have had these experiences that we used to only be able to have through religion or psychedelics or in dreams And the fact that these things can be switched on and switched off through technology and hardware, I think that that for me says that the ultimate potential of it is that we can have all the things that we were promised by religion and by political movements and this idea of sounds like the most hippie thing in the world but it's true you know that those people in that room were connected in a virtual world that doesn't exist they were taken out of their bodies they flew over cities and then they returned to reality and i think that the potential of it we're only just at the tip of the iceberg, but the potential of it is that we won't be bound by the things that I think are the worst aspects of humanity, which is you don't think of outside your body, you don't think of anyone else. You think of this as your only life and the only form of reality, and that it can be expanded by tech is, I think, a wonderful thing.
[00:21:59.677] Kent Bye: Yeah, that's what Jaron Lanier says, is that the virtual reality experience starts when you take the headset off, so... Any final thoughts or any last things you'd like to say to the immersive community?
[00:22:10.003] Roman Rappak: Yeah, I mean, we've, we're really, since we last spoke, we've been able to take it around the world. So it's been incredible to go to Copenhagen, to Dubai. We've also been commissioned to create experiences. So one we did in schools in Scotland, which was about the history of Scotland and stone circles. And I think that, you know, we're being booked for lots of different shows and we're excited to play things that are electronic festivals, but also XR events. And so keep an eye on our Instagram and, or if you have an event, give us a shout.
[00:22:40.054] Kent Bye: Awesome. Well, really enjoyed the show. I see a lot of evolution and progress. And thanks again for joining me today on the podcast to help break it all down. So thank you.
[00:22:48.543] Roman Rappak: Thanks so much, Ken. Keep making your podcast, and keep sharing the ideas that you discover and you have, because they're inspiring.
[00:22:55.791] Kent Bye: Awesome. Thank you. So that was Roman Rapak, he's with Mirrorshot Band and also the Wristband Platform and we were talking about the mixed reality performance that he had there at the venue in Austin, Texas, using HTC Elite mixed reality headsets. So, I found different takeaways about this interview is that first of all, Well, I really, really think they got this dialed in in terms of having a really nice immersive experience. I mean, you're sitting there and you're kind of waiting and anticipating and getting into seeing this piece. And so you're hearing the song and then you get in there and you kind of have this initial exploration of this world. That's a little bit more of a cinematic, I guess you could say, of introducing you. And there's this audio in the background that's talking about all this deeper philosophical aspects of what's it mean to be in virtual reality. Because, you know, Roman is, a very deep thinker about virtual reality and the conversation that I had with him last year, he talked about how he's been listening to the Voices of VR podcast for years and years and years and getting a lot of deep inspiration from many different people across the XR industry. And so this more philosophical reflections about the nature of what this medium is and what it means to be engaging with these mixed reality and virtual reality experiences and being on this forefront of the fusion of music and immersive entertainment and immersive experiences and having this kind of more philosophical reflection about that that was overlaid on top of this immersive experience as you're going through this journey and then the music on top of that they kind of flip back and forth between the chorus and the verse having these immersive experiences where you're moving around and then seeing Roman on stage. The pacing I think actually this year was a lot better. I think I'd made a comment to him last year that they took back and having a lot more ability for people to spend time in these different places and he's live mixing at the same time. So it makes it more interesting for him to do this live performative aspect of it, which I think gives a certain element of the liveness of the live performance because they are performing live. And so it's slightly different each time, but he's also mixing the virtual experiences for each people. So they're getting slightly different Tunings for experimenting with what works the best depending on the crowd There's different people that he's got this monitor that he's watching and so like a DJ He's paying attention to what's happening in the crowd and being able to engage with them in different ways I would have personally like to see the speed at which I was moving through some of these Places to be a little bit faster. I was able to move my head and have a little bit of agency it was essentially based upon head pose of where you're looking at and you would go in that direction and And you'd see the representation of other people that were in the show with you, kind of like a dot with a line behind them. So you did get a bit of this social presence with other people, but I would have liked to see a little bit more agency to be able to explore around a little bit. But I really liked that idea of flipping back and forth between the virtual exploration and journey and the mixed reality performance. I would also like to see a little bit more filters and playing with how you can start to modulate that mixed reality framing because there was only one way of kind of having that mixed reality pass through and it was like maybe the same filter but I would have liked to see a little bit more like edge detection or other kind of variants around the different ways that you can play with the mixed reality component. But very early in its iteration I'm sure he'll continue to develop it and evolve it as time goes on. Yeah, I feel like they really got it dialed in this year. Like last year, I could see the semblance of where they're going, but just like the latency with the Gear VR and the pass-through wasn't nearly as compelling. And I think they've done a lot of things on the backend to make it so that it's like so much more of a compelling, immersive experience for everybody, so. Yeah, really excited to see where this continues to go because I think there's something there for having this live performance Like what is the liveness of the live because a lot of these like music concert experiences are all like pre-recorded and there is something that's qualitatively different when you're like sitting at a live performance and And you see like all the little imperfections or you can see the embodied presence of folks and also to feel the sound and the subwoofer and just The context of going into that concert venue and like all the different things that you go into a movie theater of the ritual of going to see a theater performance the ritual of going to a concert is similar in the sense of You kind of wait in line, you go through the bouncer, you get your ID checked, and you're in this context where there's a stage, and then you go into this immersive experience. And so all the different contextual dimensions that are priming you into this live performative element. So I feel like that's another aspect that they're giving an intimate experience for their fans before they actually have the larger concert that happens later. Anyway, really excited to see where they continue to take this idea and continue to iterate it and develop it as they move forward. And the RISC-RAN platform is another outlet where they're continuing to do these different types of explorations. So, that's all I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a listen supported podcast and so I do rely upon donations from people like yourself in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So you could become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voices VR. Thanks for listening.