Every day the Rebel team scour the internet, plough through our mailboxes and visit events in our neverending search for the latest trends in event-tech. Some of the gems we find go on to become big hits, others fade into oblivion. I’m posting monthly updates on some of the most innovative, weirdest, most functional, fun-but-totally-useless and quirky event-tech the Rebel and Soul team has spotted.
1. Audience participation tools
I always love to discover new event-tech that aims to make corporate get togethers more exciting. Creating meaningful interactions at long, content heavy meetings is a difficult but fun challenge. We found a couple of tools this month that both operate in the same niche to help with this.
The first one is a product called Crowd Mics which is essentially a box that transforms mobile phones into fully functioning microphones. This actually solves a known problem: there’s always that awkward moment of silence before the roaming mic reaches the person trying to ask a question during a Q&A session. On top of that this technology also allows you to conduct polls and it enables the audience to write text comments during a session.
The second audience participation tool we spotted is the Catchbox - a dice-shaped, throwable microphone. This colorful gem solves the same problem as Crowd Mics, but is aimed at a slightly younger, less corporate crowd with a good arm. Super fun yes, but there is the very real risk of hitting Janice from accounting in the face or sending a table’s coffee pot flying . I’m not surprised to see that the testimonials on their website come from Silicon Valley based companies like Evernote and not from, say, traditionally stiff consultancy firms.
The event industry right now is past the point of just using drones as tools to get a good vantage point for a picture or a video. They have quickly become more than just a tool and are now part of the main attraction. Drones choreographies and drone laser shows are fantastic event tech - also for indoor events. Drones are best left to professionals though. When Singapore ordered a drone show for its 50th birthday a couple of years ago it tookteam of 11 talented students more than a year to get things right and to stop finally crashing into each other with their 16 drones
We're currently working in collaboration with the production team behind one of the worlds first drone ballets set against Mount Fuji near Tokyo to try and bring this mesmerising show to Singapore:
As soon as this plays out I will let you all know.
3. Project Jacquard
There wasn’t a huge amount of new mind blowing tech presented at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this year. A lot of it seemed to be a case of technology-seeks-purpose (see number 4 below for a good example that the hypocritical me loves). The winner of the Grand Prix in Product Design, Google’s Project Jacquard, was the notable exception.
This interactive textile, that allows users to change a song or pick up their phone via their apparel has a huge number of user case scenario’s for the experiential industry. Have audiences control light shows during concerts, allow people to indicate their mood via a sweatband - the possibilities are endless and I’m looking forward to bringing this to Asia.
Extra: Robot Dog
I’m not sure if this is even event-tech, but I want it to be so badly that I will post it here anyway. Here’s to hoping that this amazing but slightly scary robot-dog, developed by Boston Dynamics, may in the long run be used for - I’m going to say - crowd control?