During Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime performance on Sunday, 65,000 wristbands illuminated the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., connecting the crowd to make them feel like an integral part of the performance.
Every wristband originated in Montreal courtesy of crowd lighting company PixMob.
“Maybe you remember the lighting up of a light during concerts,” said PixMob marketing director Simon St-Germain. “We used to do that but technology has evolved a lot and now we’re able to do it via a wristband.”
PixMob installs anywhere from 24 to 40 infrared transmitters throughout the stadium to send a signal to each individual device, causing it to light up.
It sounds simple but the programming starts with the creative team weeks or even months in advance.
“It’s not just light up wristbands and it’s easy,” says St-Germain.
Chances are you’ve seen some of PixMob’s work either at a concert or sporting event or on TV.
Recent work from the PixMob team caught the attention of the National Football League.
“They saw what we did throughout the years with Taylor Swift, with Shawn Mendes and other artists and I think, not to be vain, but we did demonstrate the quality of our products and the effects that we were able to do,” St-Germain said.
But he says what really stood out to the NFL was PixMob’s award-winning recycling program.
“We know we produce plastic objects, so we’ve been working on a recycle program for the past few years.”
The company has developed bands made out of recycled plastic and reuses all bands distributed and then returned at PixMob events.
The used bands are then shipped back to Montreal, where a team replaces the batteries, cleans the devices and makes sure they still function.
“We’ve been able to recuperate approximately two million wristbands and we’ve recycled one million of those wristbands right here in Montreal,” said St-Germain.
The team is constantly coming up with new technology to create an even more immersive experience for concertgoers, like the portable transmitter, which allows artists and mascots to light up wristbands in the crowd using what looks like a magic wand.
“I think that’s what’s best about all of that is that people now don’t feel they’re standing there watching their favourite artist, favourite singer — they are part of that show, they are part of that experience with those artists,” says St-Germain.