Will Wearable Tech Change the Live Music Experience?

Everyone in the geekocracy is talking about the trend towards technology that you can wear.  The Music Network wants to know what the implications could be for live music.

“Wearables”: it was the buzz word among all us geeks at SXSW Conference this year if you attended the Interactive portion of the event. To put the relevance of a ‘buzz word at SXSW’ into context, last year it was all about 3D printing – and since then we’ve seen Microsoft launch an affordable 3D printing app to the public, and the Dutch announce they are building an entire house with one.So, firstly, what is a ‘wearable’? Following on from the focus of digital marketing strategy in recent years toward personalisation (and brands jumping right onto that bandwagon with gusto), we have seen the rise in wearable technology: From Nike fit bands that monitor and track your fitness as you work out, to the rumours of an Apple  ’smart watch’ launching imminently, technology is headed toward a future that integrates items you currently wear with technology you currently use. It’s all about getting out of the box – the box being your smartphone. Think Google Glass: now if only they could get it to look a little cooler.

This week we’ve seen the announcement of Facebook’s planned acquisition of Oculus VR Inc, the makers of virtual reality glasses used mostly in gaming applications at the moment. The announcement that a social media company, who up until now has mainly focussed on absorbing other competitive social media startups, is purchasing a VR company is mind boggling: But perhaps speaks of the industry’s confidence in this technology to have real impact beyond gaming.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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