Will.i.am's augmented reality revolution

Will.i.am has brought his flair for innovation into a new dimension, incorporating virtual and augmented reality into a variety of interactive experiences.

Posted: Nov 8, 2018 6:43 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2018 7:16 PM

Will.i.am wears a lot of hats: Grammy Award-winning musician; co-founder of the Black Eyed Peas; a judge on TV's "The Voice;" headphones entrepreneur.

And now he's bringing his creativity and flair for innovation into a new dimension, incorporating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into a variety of interactive experiences.

"We're doing music, (documentary), short film, long-form, graphic novel, AR, VR," says Will.i.am, whose full name is William Adams. "Things that we've never done. Things that the industry hasn't done."

The project that started this wave of projects was a graphic novel titled "Masters of the Sun." Produced with the publishing giants at Marvel in 2017, it tells what Will.i.am describes as "a heightened story on the rise and the fall of what hip-hop was meant to be." It follows a group of heroes facing off against an ancient god transforming gangsters into zombies, in an allegory for the proliferation of drugs in predominantly black communities in the 1980s.

But to fully experience the graphic novel, readers must download an accompanying AR app: "When we put AR on it, the book comes alive, so people can experience our graphic novel in three-dimensional space," Will.i.am explains. As you scan the pages with your device, characters and scenes seem to jump out of the screen.

The graphic novel then spawned an hour-long, Oculus-backed virtual reality film scored by the Black Eyed Peas and Hans Zimmer, and starring hip-hop legends like KRS-One, Rakim and Queen Latifah.

This autumn, with their Masters of the Sun European tour promoting an album of the same name, the Black Eyed Peas are bringing their AR show on the road. During the finale, the audience is encouraged to take out their phones and watch the stage through an app that overlays the performance with colorful graphics.

"We're going to augment the layer between the person on stage -- us -- and the audience so that when they're watching the show through the lens of their phone, they're seeing something that's not there," Will.i.am said. "It's like Pokémon Go on steroids."

Watch the video above to find out more about Will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas' experiential experiments.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Oroville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Chico
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
Red Bluff
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 53°
Red Bluff
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
After a windy Saturday and fairly breezy Sunday, the wind we've had is weakening as the month of February comes to a close. We can expect a mostly clear first morning of March, followed by more clouds and mild air by the afternoon.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events