B-Reel, Google and XL Recordings team up for an interactive music video specifically for mobile phones and tablet devices.
Bobby Womack's 'The Bravest Man in the Universe' is the soundtrack to an animated video featuring a space shuttle. You can drag the shuttle back and forth, group planets together and "pinch" the screen to travel through asteroid clusters, all while Womack croons in your headphones. In some places, there's a game element, where you can tap asteroids to destroy them, for example.
The track is off Womack's first album in almost two decades, and is produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell. According to B-Reel creative director Patrick Ehrlund, this is a tech demo with a twist. "We wanted to combine a technology showcase of Chrome for Android's capabilities with mainstream appeal, making it easily approachable and relatable, thus increasing the reach of the project."
Working in a mobile browser is very different from a developer's perspective. "Getting the best possible result means tuning the experience to make best use of the technology available," said B-Reel developer Simon Cave. "An experience built for a mobile phone should be playable from wherever you are, even when you're not on WiFi."
The experience involved breaking down what tasks and features were processor intensive, and how animation quality could be optimized, given that some people might only be watching on 3G.
"With this project, we set out to do something that's never been done. We looked to create an interactive music video entirely in a mobile browser and really pushed the technology to new heights," said Ehrlund.