Digital Makeup, Robotic Arms and Magical Rings, During the Annual GRAMMY Awards

Lady Gaga’s show Monday night proved cutting edge technology is approachable if you know how to spark consumers’ interest. By combining music with science, Gaga showed once more nothing is impossible for a performer who knows the recipe of great entertainment: passion and the element of surprise. With help from Intel, the singer managed to fascinate both colleagues and TV viewers; digital makeup, robotic arms, holograms and magical rings took everyone a step into the future.

Gaga and Intel discussed the ways she could integrate their technology in future shows but didn’t set a date until David Bowie’s sudden death. When the Grammy Awards decided they wanted to pay a tribute to the legendary singer, Gaga saw the chance to do more than interpret his hits. For her 6 minute performance, Intel developed an “animated face” that could change at a moment’s notice in one of Bowie’s signature looks. Before applying digital makeup (to the effect of a “living canvas”), they created a 3D scan of her face by capturing 12 different poses of her. Then, they used motion graphics and Bowie’s looks to offer a real time make-over on stage through a projector powered by a 6th Generation Intel Core processor-based desktop.

“I like to do things that integrate technology and art with powerful experiences. I think that this collaboration with Intel has been very different than anything I have done before. They have really given me so much amazing technology to play with.”- Lady Gaga

Another trick Gaga used was an Intel® Curie™ module-based ring that allowed her to take control of the stage in real time, a L.E.D. wall and by use of holographic display materials, a three-dimensional hologram of Bowie himself.

Intel’s director of technology, Paul Tapp, saved the best for last: a robotic armed piano in rose gold. Before Gaga could incorporate it in her routine, the audience was just surprised by the shape. Once the animated piano began to move, everybody’s jaw dropped. “It’s almost like an animate creature to some degree. We capitalized on that to do some unexpected motion effects with it live”, said Tapp in an interview. Making it a reality required three Intel® Atom™ processor-powered robot arms and a very good paint job.


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