Last month, we told you about U2's new augmented reality-powered music tour. But if you don't have the means to travel to the show, the group recently revealed an inside look at what it will be like and what inspired the band to dive into immersive technology.
Sitting for an interview with CNN's business unit, CNN Money, lead singer Bono and band member The Edge explained why augmented reality was the right medium to engage fans at its live shows.
"AR just helps," said Bono. "It's used to really amplify the song so that it gets across in a more clear, direct, potent way. If it doesn't serve the song, we would not consider it. You'll see [in the AR presentation] this big image of consciousness inside this big iceberg, and then it starts to melt, and we had to compact that experience."
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Later, The Edge takes the reporter on a tour of the arena's massive screens used to display images that trigger the augmented reality experiences that are available to fans who download the band's app (available on iOS and Android devices) and then point their smartphones at the images.
"We want people's complete attention, and we get really cross if someone goes to the bathroom during one of our songs," said Bono, in his well known tongue-in-cheek, humorous way, further explaining the decision to engage the band's longtime fans via an experience that transcends music. "So I think just to try and have fun with this potential for distraction and make the phone part of the actual experience, that's part of the appeal of using [augmented reality]."
Although it's difficult to show off what it's like experiencing the massive AR presentations at the live shows, some fans have been uploading imagery from the concert, showing off a taste of what the band's gigantic screens are like during the performances.
"We're terrified of the idea that there's no more innovation available, so we're constantly like seeing where the form can go," said The Edge, giving his take on why adding AR to the concert tour was important. "Rock 'n' roll, to me, is the spirit of adventure and innovation…we keep things fresh."
You can watch the entire U2 interview below: