Timbaland Talks SubPac With TechCrunch.com
By Jessica Naziri. The future of listening to music is feeling it, according to Timbaland. Everyone likes a good vibration — which is why recording artist Timbaland teamed up with SubPac, a Los Angeles-based startup that has created a wearable device set to redefine entertainment through new immersive physical-sound technology. Timbaland says he is on a mission to bring the feeling back (he’s already brought sexy back with Justin Timberlake) by connecting his passion of music with technology to revolutionize the way we consume, listen to and interact with music.
“You’re going to change the word listen to feel,” says Timbaland. “It’s about whole body, completing the experience.” It’s no secret that digital has disrupted the industry, but it is now being embraced in innovative ways. SubPac’s immersive physical-sound technology tries to bring music to life, expanding beyond an audio concept to a full-body experience. SubPac is creating its own physical-sound category through two unique products: the SubPac M2, a wearable vest, and the SubPac S2, a seatback device.
Similar to sub woofers in the back of seats, when you wear this wearable, which is similar to a backpack, you literally feel the low-end frequencies throughout your entire body — and you can take it wherever you go. The startup has attracted major investors and industry leaders who have joined forces to engineer this sound movement. “This idea came about with the understanding that music is actually physical,” says SubPac co-founder John Alexia, in a private room with Timbaland by his side.
The aim is to get both music creators and music lovers to feel the bass for themselves, which improves mixes and helps artists connect with their fans on a deeper level by using innovative technology that allows consumers to physically feel sound, according to Alexia. “SubPac is for anyone who wants a deeper connection with feeling,” says Timbaland, who adds that SubPac is going to change the way we make albums. So how does it work? The SubPac is a Bluetooth plug and play that connects to any device, whether it’s your laptop or any phone, and it lets you feel those low frequencies that you can’t really experience unless you feel them.
In addition to music, Alexia says artists, creators and tastemakers are now creating for this physical feedback, “but you can also go back to old music and feel the frequencies.” What’s interesting to note is that the deaf and hard of hearing can experience music through a connection to the physicality of music. Alexia noted that SubPac is approaching creators of VR and AR and other new technologies in which you need to be physically immersed. SubPac recently announced the close of a $6 million Series A financing and has garnered the attention of major investors and industry leaders, including Google Android co-creator Andy Rubin.