The Recording Academy 'plays' New York City through AR leading up to Grammys

The Grammys are returning to New York City for the awards' 60th anniversary. In an industry first, the Recording Academy has debuted a short film that documents how the city transformed into an augmented reality musical instrument.

The Grammys, along with long-time creative partner TBWA\Chiat\Day, installed sophisticated software, multiple cameras and an augmented reality screen into a specially outfitted Uber to play New York City like an instrument. Triggered by the people and objects outside the window, through next-generation computer vision software as the vehicle moved along each route, musical notes played and graphics flashed on the window, which featured a musical stave.

The captivating technology was developed by creative production partner Tool North America, giving riders the ability to watch from the back seat as a song was developed live before their eyes.

"It's like a mixtape of New York. It's beautiful" stated passenger Colleen. "Everybody had their own beat and it goes with the soul of New York because people have their own beat and rhythm. So it's really cool to see people making music and they don't even know it," said passenger Damion.

Over the years, 'Music’s Biggest Night' has leveraged the power of technology to elevate an artist’s ability to deliver an amazing on-stage experience. But this year, to celebrate the milestone 60th anniversary of The Grammys and the show’s return to NYC, everyday New Yorkers were treated to a spectacular Grammys show right from the comfort and convenience of an Uber.

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