Black Eyed Peas’ frontman will.i.am recently became the latest rapper, after 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and Ludacris, to launch a spate of high-tech projects, including mobile apps and a high-profile partnership with computing giant Intel.
A new range of smartphone applications, dubbed will.i.apps, includes the new BEP360 for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad and an interactive 360-degree music video of the Black Eyed Peas’ popular song “The Time (Dirty Bit).” By rotating their device, users can look around a virtual dance floor filled with partygoers, or pinch to zoom and get a closer peek at singers and dancers.
The program, the first in a line of upcoming entertainment apps from will.i.am and partner Edo Segal of Futurity Ventures, also includes a puzzle game and the ability to view comments and pictures shared by fans. Augmented reality features also let Black Eyed Peas fans view virtual avatars of band members that spout Twitter updates superimposed on real-world backgrounds, and shap photos of them to exchange online.
More undisclosed projects will also be forthcoming from the company, likely using geo-location and social media features (plus varied platforms from tablet PCs to Android celluar phones), as it says it aims to better connect fans and artists.
The Grammy-winning musician and producer’s multiyear deal with computing giant Intel, similar to Polaroid’s partnership with “creative director” Lady Gaga, sees him named “Director of Creative Innovation.” Intel hopes will.i.am will help it improve the marriage of technology, entertainment and usability with regards to new tablet PCs, laptops and smartphones, presumably adding to these devices’ presentation, intuitiveness and sex appeal. While collaborating on these and other consumer electronics, he’ll also provide original music for Intel.
“Nearly everything I do involves processors and computers,” said will.i.am in a prepared statement. “Teaming up with the scientists, researchers and computer programmers at Intel to collaborate and co-develop new ways to communicate, create, inform and entertain is going to be amazing.”