On August 17, I was skimming my Facebook feed on my lunch break when a post shared by Mick Jagger caught my eye. A Rolling Stones fan born decades too late to fully appreciate them at the height of their popularity, I was instantly intrigued when I realized that their newest cover photo on the social media platform was something I’d never seen before.
With their 50 year anniversary on the rise, the Stones were naturally teasing their 10 million Facebook fans with a cryptic message announcing that big news was on the way – but unlike bands and artists who’ve previously done so – this message actually required a decoder called uView.
uView is an application for Android and Apple OS devices from U-Apps that boasts that it can “make music come alive.” Intrigued, I downloaded it immediately to my Samsung Galaxy SII, opened it up, and aimed my camera at my laptop before tapping my phone’s screen. Sure enough, the eyes on the band’s cover photo began blinking at me and a message appeared – the announcement itself was merely announcing that bigger news was on its way and was nothing ground breaking. But the augmented reality application left many fans intrigued in and of itself.
According to information from U-Apps, uView will allow users to turn album art, posters, and entire buildings into special content from some of their favorite artists from Universal Music, including exclusive tracks, interviews, animated 3-D images like the Rolling Stones’ cover photo, and access to special videos.
Some Stones fans, admittedly, complained about downloading an entire app for a lackluster announcement – others experienced issues with the app itself (I did at first, mainly to a glare on my laptop screen) but one has to wonder what else the Stones will let this app unlock for their fans. Depending on which artists follow this trend and leverage it to grant their fans access to exclusive content, the two minutes I spent downloading a free application could be well worth it.
What this promotion really symbolizes is the breaking down of limitations if recording artists choose to use it – between audio and visual and a 50 year old band becoming one of the first to lead the way with a potentially amazing social media and graphic design tool.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Jagger and Richards, uView is definitely an app that a music fan should keep an eye on if it lives up to the developer’s hype. And if you are a fan of the Rolling Stones, surely you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for whatever news the next augmented reality update provides for the band’s fiftieth year. I, for one, won’t settle for anything less than a tour, a remastered collector’s edition box set, and a one-time renewal of the show Punk’d where Mick Jagger pulls one over on Justin Bieber.