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Techno Files: New technology for July 2019

Crystal Interactive

We’ve all stared agog at clips of Coldplay’s audience lighting up stadiums thanks to their LED Xylobands, a riot of choreographed flashes and patterns that enhance the excitement going on onstage. But while those wristbands were simply about creating visual effects, Crystal Interactive’s wearables go one step further and offer genuine interaction.

Powered by PixMob’s Klik – an event engagement platform – their badges, buttons and wristbands offer registration, interaction, attendee tracking, gamification and even paging (ask your parents), not to mention a dedicated app to manage profiles, services, and information.

Naturally, all three options are reusable and recyclable, have a multi-day battery life and are completely brandable – the badge even comes with its own printer for making stickers. The company also offers post-event analytics, allowing organisers deep insight into attendee behaviour and rich data maps.


Sphero Specdrums

First there was Oddball, the drum machine in a ball. Then there was KAiKU, the music glove with built-in gyroscope and accelerometer. And now we have Specdrums, the app-enabled ring that turns colours into music with a simple tap.

“Make the world your instrument,” says the website, and the promo video is full of shiny, happy people merrily making beats and tunes while skateboarding, doing graffiti art and riding the bus downtown. As you do.

But there is some serious tech behind the novelty: the ring can mimic the function of digital drums and MIDI pads, and can be set to trigger an infinite number of sounds, even ones you’ve recorded yourself. They also connect to any Bluetooth MIDI application on mobile or desktop, meaning they can be patched into the likes of GarageBand or even Logic. Not bad for something that looks like a Fisher Price toy.



The mooted 5G rollout that’s coming soon will, it is claimed, lead to all sorts of exciting and innovative new services and platforms for content creators and music fans. Things like VRJAM, for example – the latest piece of digital wizardry that’s a solution to a problem you didn’t know existed.

The premise is simple: it’s a real-time streaming platform for live VR and AR content, an immersive, interactive app that allows users to “experience artists’ performances in new and undreamt of ways.” Basically, it functions like an interactive Holodeck on your phone, with artists able to visualise shows on the fly, inside a computer-animated world populated by CGI avatars.

It all seems very impressive, and with backing from the likes of Google and Samsung, the tech is expected to have far-reaching applications – sporting and business events, or any type of conference, can be digitally reimagined and broadcast to the world.


Exposure Analytics

Analytics are all the rage, it seems, and with good reason. Aside from providing feedback for ROI and various other KPIs, it makes sense for any large-scale event to track footfall and flows – particularly from a safety and comfort standpoint – and Exposure Analytics have come up with a unique set of digital services for doing precisely that.

Using three different types of sensor – each optimised to record specific sets of data – they can provide real-time reporting on any number of metrics such as heat maps, dwell time, audience distribution, capacity and even mood detection from their customised API and dashboard.

Having worked on more than 3,000 events worldwide, and with brands such as Canon and Mercedes-Benz, their award-winning tech is clearly another useful tool for event professionals and organisers, and takes analytical insight to the next level.


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