abbey road virtual interactive environment

Abbey Road Studios Becomes a Virtual Interactive Environment



We’re in the business of creating interactive environments for our clients in their retail spaces and showrooms.

We do this to enhance the space, to give the customer a more enjoyable experience. In the spaces we work in, a customer has a goal like to pay a bill, or to buy a car. But what if seeing the space itself was the goal. Think a museum or theme park. Making the environment interactive will enhance the space for visitors. But maybe you want to include those who can’t make the trip, or make a way for visitors to preview the experience.

Google has created an interactive environment for Abbey Road Studios which can be experienced through a website.

Inside Abbey Road

I virtually “toured” Abbey Road Studios using this website. The introduction (which visitors can skip) took me outside the studio to a 3D street view. I then virtually entered the studio for a tour. After being given a short introduction about the history of the studio I was given the option of joining a tour or playing with other interactive features.

The tour took me through the studios. Stopping points allowed me to click on hot spots to learn more. The 3D features of the tour are very accurate to a real tour of a space. The camera moves to the floor when I’m told you look down, to the ceiling when I’m told to look up, and turns around when I’m told to look behind me. A benefit over real studio tours is going to virtual rooms as musicians are recording. Another benefit is going at my own pace. The tour has natural stops and doesn’t continue until I hit next. I can also pause at any time.

In addition to the tour, visitors can read stories about the studios, watch videos of performances in the studios, look at images, and play with gadgets.

Interactive Touch Points

In addition to controlling your own tour there are additional points of interaction on this site.

At the Mixing Desk users are able to play with controls to create their own mix. Basically, a track plays and you adjust the settings for the drums, orchestra and brass depending on the song. You are then given a score of the match to the song you mixed. You can then try another. The goal is to listen to the song and make your mix of it as close to the final mix as possible. I received an 82% on my first mix, and a 75% on my second. This game is fun, but also appropriate for the tour itself.

Visitors can also play with putting effects over a vocal track, and record their own audio. There are also rumors of hidden rooms users exploring on their own can find.

“We’re always looking at how we can use technology to bring people closer to cultural icons and institutions around the world,” said Tom Seymour, the project lead from Google’s Creative Lab. “With Inside Abbey Road, we wanted to open the doors to the iconic music studio for anyone in the world to step inside and experience the stories, the sounds, the people and the equipment that make Abbey Road Studios what it is today.”

The virtual interactive tour debuted along with a studio space redesign which was inspired by the Beatles album Abbey Road.

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