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Jamie Lamberski

Coachella is Sending a Virtual Reality Experience In the Mail [VIDEO]

Today, one of the music industry's most anticipated annual events introduced a new initiative that opens the door to a more immersive festival experience: Coachella VR.

In their Coachella Welcome Box which includes their entry wristband and welcome guide, ticket holders will receive a cardboard virtual reality headset with instructions for downloading the VR app on android, iOS or Samsung Gear VR.

Powered by Coachella and their partner Vantage.tv, the VR app will feature the 2016 teaser video, exclusive interviews and performances from artists, 360-degree panoramic photos from previous years and virtual tours of the 2016 festival grounds.

Sure it's just a piece of cardboard, and just like the "hoverboard" that doesn't actually hover, the cardboard headset obviously won't produced an authentic, transportive virtual reality experience. BUT it's a step that signals the music industry's inevitable move towards real virtual and augmented reality technology, which is predicted to become a $150 billion industry by 2020 according to tech advisor Digi-Capital. And it's certainly not a surprising step as Coachella has been using virtual technology like the Tupac hologram, augmented hearing, projection mapping and RFID engagements to up the ante and differentiate itself as a forward-thinking festival.

Virtual reality technology could change the way we think about experiencing live music. Instead of driving or flying to an out-of-state show or festival, fans will be able to experience it as if they were there but from the comfort of their homes. It's a completely new type of experience as it hijacks your two most-used senses, sight and sound, to basically trick your brain into thinking you are somewhere completely different, as John Koller, vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, told CTA. On the other hand, augmented reality technology - which involves a transparent device as opposed to a closed, fully immersive headset - could have applications for fans actually physically at events, turning smartphones into portals that expand the experience beyond our imaginations.

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Tags Coachella
Jamie Lamberski Senior Editor

I'm a storyteller at heart, and music makes my world go round.

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