Israeli startup Octosense is using Rihanna as a (digital) guinea pig for its mixed-reality technology. The company makes a 3D-shading technology that, among other benefits, can “naturally Integrate virtual content into the user’s actual environment in real time”.

The tech will work with a variety of AR headsets and AR-capable devices, smartphones included. It’s Octosense’s demo that sparked our attention though. The company has created a digital version of Rihanna for what it’s calling the “first ever mixed reality artist performance”.

While we’d quibble with that claim, having seen Japanese avatar-star Hatsune Miku playing to arenas of fans, Octosense’s demo is still pretty impressive:

YouTube video

“We have brought to life a highly realistic, detailed character who performs for and interacts with users, while being rendered purely in real time on untethered mobile devices,” it explains.

At the time of writing, it is unclear to what extent (if at all) Rihanna, her management and/or label Roc Nation are involved. Still, it’s food for thought as to the kind of content that artists might feature in when AR headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap are commercially available – and smartphones in the meantime.

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