November 13, 2014
Pop star Taylor Swift’s new music video “Blank Spaces” comes with an app that offers fans an interactive experience in the video’s pristine mansion setting. The app is available for iOS and Android, and it gives viewers a chance to explore the scenes featured in the music video, see Swift dance just a few feet away, and discover Easter eggs with extras such as Polaroids. This app may point to the future of music videos, and could provide an ideal testing ground for virtual environments.
The “Blank Spaces” app isn’t exactly a game or a music video, but rather a virtual environment to explore. Swift and her love interest in the music video tell a part of the song’s story in each of the mansion’s different rooms by dancing or fighting. Other characters, like a butler or a portrait painter, will wander into the room when the couple is gone.
Viewers can tilt their tablets or smartphones to look around the mansion because the app collects data from the accelerometer. Radical Media, one of the teams that worked on the music video, also tried viewing the app through the Oculus Rift and highly praised the experience.
Swift and her team shot the music video in just two days, which is why music videos may be a great way for virtual reality experts to experiment before they try to tackle a feature-length film. “Director Joseph Kahn filmed the video and the app with a camera that has six lenses to produce the 360-degree viewing experience,” Wired reports.
With this app, Swift has positioned herself at the forefront of new engagement with music fans. Other artists who have experimented with interactive music videos include Arcade Fire with their “Reflektor” video and Bob Dylan’s innovative video for “Like a Rolling Stone.”