by Zuriñe Dopacio González

September 8, 2014

Music Festivals WT Style

Summer is almost over but festival season is not yet. In any case for your next stay at a festival ground you do not have to go all disconnected like 20 years ago. You can go camping and be techie at the same time.

First thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word camping? Yes, excactly: mosquitoes, spiders and all kinds of other creepy animals. But now you can stop worrying about them with Kite – a patch that you apply to your clothing and that makes you „invisible“for mosquitoes for up to 48hours. The patch uses non-toxic compounds that disrupt the mosquitoes’ ability to find humans through CO2. The technology has been developed by Olfactor Laboratories and the University of California at Riverside and it’s crowdfunding campaign received backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Another important thing to keep in mind while staying outdoors, the environment surrounding you, the company Rooti launched Climate, a portable device that allows you to track a variety of environmental data, such as the UV index, temperature and humidity, so that you and your family can stay healthy and comfortable. Climate harvest a range of information and relay it to your phone, where it can be seen in real time. Clip it to your backpack, belt, or shirt and let it gather all the environmental data you want, it syncs via Bluetooth to your phone and alert you as soon as your environment becomes unhealthy for you. They will be speaking in our WT Conference in Taipei!

What would you think about an all-in-one gadget for boiling, grilling, cooking and charging your electronic devices? Even when you are camping to disconnect for a few days you still might want to bring your phone with you (for emergencies)., However, you certainly do not want to carry any more stuff than really necessary .The company BioLite has the perfect solution: with their BioLite Bundle you can for example cook, make tea and also charge your phone. All separate parts nest into each other or fold down really small making this a compact way to meet all your outdoor and off-grid needs!

Charging electronic devices is always a problem when you are out and about and you do not always want to bring a full cooking system or a power bank with you. That’s why telecommunications provider Orange came out with a fun gadget for your next festival – the Orange Power Wellies. These boots can charge your phone by harvesting heat from your feet. The power collected in the ‘power generating sole’ is collected via a process known as the ‘Seebeck’ effect. Inside the power generating sole there are thermoelectric modules constructed of pairs of p-type and n-type semiconductor materials forming a thermocouple. These thermocouples are connected electrically forming an array of multiple thermocouples (thermopile). They are then sandwiched between two thin ceramic wafers. When the heat from the foot is applied on the top side of the ceramic wafer and cold is applied on the opposite side, from the cold of the ground, electricity is generated. You just have to plug your phone into the power output at the top of the welly and use the energy that has been generated throughout the day. And there are also other mobile network operators interested in the topic of energy harvesting.

thermoelectric-orange-wellies-1

Vodafone also came out with another interesting approach for festival fans. Instead of wellies they went for something you will definitely use while camping – your sleeping bag. However similarly to the Orange project the technology in the sleeping bag uses the heat your body provides on the inside layer to create power based on the difference between that and the temperature on the outer layer. Eight hours in a sleeping bag at body temperature will provide enough battery life for about eight hours. But let’s be realistic – no one sleeps eight hours during a music festival.

recharge-bag

To capture all moments that might be the best of your life: like a bear eating your food or one of your friends going on stage during a concert – the company Narrative offers the automatic camera and app that looks like a tiny clip. The gadget gives you a searchable and shareable photographic memory. The battery life of the device allows you to capture 2 full days of the festival –it does not work really well anymore when it is getting dark though…

Last but not least we noticed another wearable trend lately at festivals and concerts. Light devices, like the ones from Xylobands – wristbands integrated LEDs that can be controlled via radio technologies – were for example used at several Coldplay concerts to engage with their fans and make the experience even more magical by lighting up. A startup called Lightwave is also using wearable technology to provide analytics around live events for performers and artists. A wearable wristband that measures a number of different user interactions — movement, audio levels, and temperature — to provide live performers with real-time data about people in the audience. Lightwave collect and visualize crowd data. That gives artists a way to customize the experience based on audience feedback. During the show, attendees could unlock certain events based on different activity levels, creating customizable and programmable experiences for each show. The plan is for an artist or brand sponsoring an event would give away Lightwave bracelets, which could be used to augment the user experience. The first test was at the SXSW on March 10, where Pepsi WAS putting on an exclusive “bioreactive” concert with DJ A-Trak.