Royal Caribbean's SoundSeeker to improve guest experience

Royal Caribbean's SoundSeeker to improve guest experience
The AI-equipped tool can transform photos into a unique, shareable soundtrack, complete with a photo album (Image: Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean International, Berklee College of Music in Boston, US, and technologists have created SoundSeeker, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that enables guests to create original soundtracks based on the content in the photographs they take during their cruise.

Users can upload three photos onto the SoundSeeker website. They are analysed by machine learning and AI tools regarding colour, landscape, backdrop, emotion, body language and facial expression, so they can be turned into a unique, shareable soundtrack.

“SoundSeeker is the latest proof point of Royal Caribbean innovation and how we focus it on delivering unexpected, memorable experiences; whether that is the Sky Pad, which uniquely combines bungee jumping with virtual reality or live streaming your favourite shows from the middle of the ocean using VOOM, the fastest internet at sea,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer at Royal Caribbean International. “People of all ages crave new ways to share their best experiences on social media. This unprecedented tool allows you to put a completely unique, multisensory spin on sharing those memories – now friends and followers can see and hear your life’s adventures.”

The process to create Soundseeker took over 600 hours and involved the cruise line and teams of musicians and technologists reviewing hundreds of music tracks along with 10,000 photos, matching each of the 2.5 million combinations to one of 10 moods.

Google Cloud Vision is used to identify objects, facial expressions and colours in a photo, which follows a template developed by Berklee’s music theory specialists. SoundSeeker then finds the musical elements corresponding to each mood in the photo to compose an audio and visual photo album that is chosen from over one million customised tracks. Berklee leveraged music theory to create a roadmap for the tool that helps determine the musical pairing to photos.

“We were excited to work with Royal Caribbean International on this new technological innovation, and in the process, redefine what creative collaboration means," said Panos Panay, Berklee vice president for innovation and strategy, and managing director of BerkleeICE. “The work of BerkleeICE expands our students’ definition of what can be accomplished with music education by pushing the boundaries of creative expression utilising technology. By harnessing AI to develop customised soundtracks for treasured memories, together, we have created a new way for people to share their experiences with one another.”

Soundseeker is the latest in a series of technological advancements Royal Caribbean has introduced to enhance the onboard and onshore experiences for its tech-savvy travellers. Other innovations include SeaSeeker, a custom-engineered scuba mask for Snapchat Spectacles; virtual balconies, giving interior rooms a view; radio frequency identification technology; cocktails served by robots at the ‘Bionic Bar on the Quantum-class ships; and a mobile app that has features like expedited arrival and X-ray vision into the behind-the-scenes areas of a ship.

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By Richard Humphreys
Thursday, August 9, 2018