An all-digital alternate universe is using VR to transform social interaction and content consumption — and has already received backing from top entertainment brands.
Sensorium Galaxy’s ambitious project was recently given a huge boost when TIDAL — the internationally acclaimed streaming service owned by the likes of JAY-Z, Rihanna and Daft Punk — purchased $7 million in SENSO tokens. This in-platform currency provides users with access to its content — from avatar add-ons to event tickets.
The collaboration gives Sensorium Galaxy fresh momentum as it goes live and strives to become a leader in the entertainment and social VR market — and will help further TIDAL’s goals of delivering unique experiences to fans that are unparalleled elsewhere.
Describing what the deal means, TIDAL chief operating officer Lior Tibon said: “Our relationship with Sensorium provides TIDAL with the opportunity to gain exclusive rights for its stellar artist roster to have their shows and music broadcast exclusively within Sensorium’s themed virtual entertainment worlds.
“The Sensorium Galaxy is a next-generation platform for entertainment consumption which will elevate the connection fans have with their favorite artists, and bring an artist’s vision to life in a new and exciting way.”
A timely platform
Sensorium Corporation began developing its platform back in 2018 with the sole support of Forbes-listed billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and has since attracted over $100 million in investments. But VR technology has suddenly gained newfound importance in 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic resulting in the cancelation of festivals, gigs and other live music performances.
With culture aficionados unable to attend venues in person, VR can be used to create engaging virtual environments with seamless interaction. Users can generate complex and distinctive virtual representations of themselves — personalizing their appearances and character traits, getting together with their loved ones, and meeting new people in Sensorium’s virtual worlds. They can also take part in unique activities created in collaboration with world-leading media and entertainment firms. Among them are Yann Pissenem, the mastermind behind Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza, TIDAL and dance superstar Sergei Polunin.
Sensorium Galaxy is built on Unreal Engine 4 and gives users much-needed access to culture. Referring to the TIDAL transaction, chief communications officer Brian Kean said: “In virtual reality, there are no rules to your body or mind, the only limit is your imagination. It allows you to get together regardless of real-life distances, explore a wide range of virtual activities, and experience art in entirely new ways by simply changing the perspective, getting closer to the artists, and enjoying shows in worlds that look like nothing you’ve seen before.”
Using a VR headset is recommended for a best-in-class immersive experience, but in an attempt to welcome as broad a cross-section of users as possible, Sensorium Galaxy is also accessible through dedicated applications for PC, iOS and Android.
TIDAL’s involvement with Sensorium followed another collaboration with the legendary nightlife executive Pissenem, who had a starring role in the creation of Ibiza’s vibrant, modern clubbing landscape. Through this partnership, Pissenem will serve as the driving force behind the creation of a virtual electronic music world within the Sensorium Galaxy.
Prism and Motion
In time, Sensorium hopes to help users achieve digital immortality. AI technology delivers the freedom to create avatars that aren’t just a virtual representation of ourselves, but an extension of our persona. Avatars are constantly learning from their users, identifying behavioral patterns and refining their preferences. Based on such data, avatars are able to execute actions with autonomy, like joining certain events and even relating with other participants in Sensorium Galaxy without direct control of the user.
The platform will go live in H1 2021 with the launch of the first two worlds — Prism and Motion. The virtual world of Prism will be the epicenter of electronic music within the Sensorium Galaxy and home to grand shows by the world’s top electronic music artists. Meanwhile, the underwater world of Motion will deliver an immersive dance experience — with VR giving everyone a chance to get on stage with an outstanding performer.
Sensorium expects to have over 1.8 million active users by 2022. With life not expected to get back to normal for some time — and COVID-19 set to result in permanent changes to our lifestyles — expect VR to gain even more prominence in the months and years to come.
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