For a moment let’s go on a fantastic journey into the mind of your average tech-smart 26 year old.
“Why should I have to touch my smartphone to choose music? I want an app that chooses music based on my heartbeat and the temperature of my skin,” they think.
So now, I’m imagining that someone will learn how to make use of the data gathered by Nike Fuel bands or Oura Rings (or whatever other wearable technology you can find), and use it to pick songs from the user’s playlists. And people will buy it. In the Internet of Things, devices are wirelessly linked. They are like miniature transmitters of information. There’s every reason to think that a Fit-band could be configured to share its bio-stats in real time.
It just depends on who wants to use that information.
I’m dreaming a bit more. I’m thinking about a new musical experience. It’s called the “Bio Music App,” and it will do some cool things for you.
The Bio Music App wouldn’t require any effort or thought at all. This “ultimate music app” will select music for you from your handheld device based on your biometrics! If your respiration, skin temperature, and heart rate increase, then your device plays music to match. If your biometrics decrease, then your device switches tunes. You could even have the music in your home or office play to match your activity level.
An ongoing soundtrack, customized to mimic your body state.
Those days of vinyl records seem so long gone. You would carefully select your vinyl, remove it from the sleeve, carefully cue it up on the direct drive and drop the needle? You had to do it all. Those days are gone forever my friend. Too much fucking trouble!
But there are bigger possibilities for the Bio Music App.
I’m thinking now about an innovation for social gatherings, where music is king. Picture this: You and your friends go to the music/dance venue in your neighbourhood. You’re all wearing your wireless Nike Fuel bands. You’ve set them to “publicly share my bio data.” The newly developed “Bio Music Aggregator” for music venues will aggregate the bio data from everyone in the room, and translate their heartbeats and skin temperatures into a music “mood quotient” if you will — a numerical average of the crowd’s musical desires.
The Bio Music Aggregator venue app will choose the artist and the song of the moment which will reflect the mood of the majority of people at that moment, in real time. Maybe you’ll see information about who’s playing on the giant screen.
As a musician, wouldn’t you want your music to be available on that platform?Your music would be tagged in the database according to the mood it reflects!
The Bio Music Aggregator may be designed to search and access any group of musical artists who have made their music available on the platform. Or in another twist where musicians are put out of work, the app may just play music and beats all by itself, basically by inventing an algorithmically-designed soundscape that morphs, ebbs and flows with the feeling of the room.
I admit, that last example feels a little creepy.
But let’s get ready for it. And I don’t think my imagination is too far off: The music technology of the future will be connected to physical sensors that are placed within the audience. The audience goes into a room where the music is as much a part of the room as is the furniture and the bartender, or what is showing on the big screens.
What about money? The monetization comes in when people get to choose their music.
Think of this: How much would people be willing to pay to alter the mood in the room by overriding the “machine choice” of music? How could a group of friends bid cash to dominate the music of the moment?
In the olden days they called it a Juke Box.
What about excitement and spur-of-the-moment randomness? “Music selection overrides are disabled for the next 10 minutes.”
Now my imagination is going in a new direction: Music could be called up automatically and used to liven up or calm down a room, based on the needs of the moment. This is already a reality for many retail outlets who subscribe to music services based on their targeted customer profiles. If customer biometrics were shared and affected music choices, wouldn’t that be cool? If you’re all excited and walk into the store, the music changes to reflect your excitement. Ch-ching goes the till.
My imagination can’t stop. I’m thinking about cameras now. Periscope has delivered real-time video streaming from personal devices. What about new camera and drone technology? Virtual tourism, anyone?
What kind of virtual visits would be possible, via a remotely controlled drone-based micro camera? Your visit to the digitized venue could also include “virtual guests” who are controlling drone-based cameras that hover silently around the room. Who knows who you could meet in such a place?
Or, from the other side, if you didn’t feel like going out, you could stay home in your own home theatre. You and your friends could visit a disco in any given city you wanted to. You could hover in the centre of the dance floor, or move across the front of the stage with your camera-eye. You could attend an international music festival and be in a virtual balcony seat!
We’ve already seen how the cable-strung cameras float and zoom over the Super Bowl players. It’s not science fiction. We’re just waiting for someone to make this work for music.
And now in this update I can add another twist to the story of wrist band technology. Check out what these motions sensors do for dancers.
Does the music dictate the dance? Or do the dancers dictate the music? Or is it both? Does this create a new art form that truly fuses music and dance?
Do you see it? My imagination has given us a few cloudy glimpses of what the digital age might offer us. Music will always be there. And musicians who are ready will be able to ride the wave.
The future is ours if we want it. Adapt or perish. Let us entertain the people.
Our music will be out there where the world is brand new and all things are possible.
— — -
Images of Oura Ring and Nike Fuel Band are not intended to imply endorsement.