The App that Turns Your Häagen Dazs Container Into a Classical Concert Out of Star Wars

(By Gene Yraola)

While most of the tech world has gotten wind of ice cream maker Häagen-Dazs’ funky augmented reality app, it has remained fairly unnoticed by the actual music genre by which the app plays to.

While augmented reality apps are fairly common and nothing new, those involving anything with classical music are extremely rare and even more so unique when tied to established brands. The quirky but amusing app uses your iPhone or iPad’s camera to project an on-screen holographic violin or cello performance on top of a Häagen-Dazs container. The performance last about 2 minutes, or according to Häagen-Dazs, just enough time for your premium ice cream to defrost to the perfect viscosity.

The Häagen-Dazs Concerto Timer, created by developers Jam3 and engaged by Goodby Silverstein and Partners, was designed using a mix of DSLR and Microsoft Kinect cameras. (Who knew the XBOX Kinect had some witty uses to it!) The effect of the on-screen concerto is quite impressive visually for any augmented reality app on the market with nifty particle effects and a consistent, true-3-D non-jerky animation that gives it one of the better looking holographic appearances seen on the iOS platform to date.

Trying it out in person is truly a scene out of Star Wars‘ holographic message technology. Though we found a bit of difficulty locking into two Häagen-Dazs containers to have both a violinist and cellist on-screen, the interface is pretty straight-forward and one of the most entertaining classical music apps out there. (OK its really an ice cream app…and quite humorous when you think about it).  Why does it work so well when compared to other classical apps?  For one, its entertaining.  Second – no educational intent behind it.  Making a classical music app for educational purposes is basically asking a user to book a ticket to Boredom-ville.

While the musicians are fairly unknown and the music may be more of an afterthought in Häagen-Dazs’ concerto app, it remains one of the more technically impressive treatments for classical music to date. While most of the classical world (we’re looking at you major labels and PR agencies) have for the most part ignored the significance of the augmented reality app, the effort by Häagen-Dazs and its associated developers should mark a turning point by which audiences can be engaged to classical music in the “real world,” (ie. anywhere outside of the classical music performance space, classical music-focused magazines, etc.).  That begs the question “why aren’t more classical music organizations as technically progressive when it comes to reaching new audiences?”  Seems they could all take a cue from Häagen-Dazs.

To cheap to buy a pint of Häagen-Dazs and test the free app out for yourself? Luckily for you, Häagen-Dazs has a print-at-home options to try it out at

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