With the advent of advanced lighting, display, and controls technologies, long gone are the days of holding up a lighter at concerts and sporting events. Enter PixMob, a Montreal-based developer of LED technology for entertainment experiences, which provided LED wearables for Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII Half-Time Show, headlined by R&B superstar Usher with guest performances from Alicia Keys, Lil Jon and Ludacris, H.E.R., will.i.a.m., and Jermaine Dupri.
Not only did the company’s colorful X4 wristbands enhance the field performance of artists, dancers, and musicians at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, but some 60,000 fans sported PixMob LED badges to participate in the immersive lighting effects.
This year’s event marks ten years since the first Super Bowl performance in which PixMob technology was integrated, with thousands of fans and hundreds of performers using its synchronized wearables during the Half-Time Show in 2014, featuring pop singer Bruno Mars. The company’s immersive devices have featured during five consecutive Super Bowl events, as well as concerts for Lady Gaga, Coldplay, and Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour.
The X4 wristbands used during the Halftime Show this past Sunday incorporate four RGB LEDs activated via an infrared signal sent by PixMob transmitters, which are installed by the company on a contract basis for each event, PixMob CCO and partner Jean Olivier Dalphond told LEDs Magazine.
The VIP badges worn by spectators feature 3W RGB LEDs and can be programmed to respond to PixMob transmitters. All of the wearables can change color, dim and brighten, pulse, and transition in time with music, or deliver animated graphics across a crowd depending on the effects selected by the entertainment crew.
“All [devices are] controlled from the lighting board controlling the whole Half-Time Show,” Dalphond explained. “All control commands are sent in real time. The devices were assigned a control group to trigger some of the effects.”
What happens after the show?
To help mitigate waste, all PixMob wristbands are made of recyclable materials — and some recycled plastic materials are utilized, such as water bottles and their caps, to create the device casing and adjustable band.
Moreover, PixMob deploys staff onsite at events to collect the LED “pucks,” which are later disassembled, cleaned, and recycled or refurbished with fresh batteries and reprogrammed for reuse. Local electronics and materials recycling facilities are used whenever possible to avoid shipping batteries back to Canada.
The fans were allowed to keep the illuminated badges, which Dalphond said will continue to light up for a week, “creating unique memories” of their spectator experience at the Super Bowl.
CARRIE MEADOWS is editor-in-chief of LEDs Magazine, with 20-plus years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.