Coldplay is on a world tour at present, called the Mylo Xyloto tour enthralling their fans. But the more interesting thing is that the pop/rock band is on to something new lately, turning its audience members into interactive participants by handing them, LED-illuminated wristbands called Xylobands that can be activated using a radio signal.
These LED-illuminated wristbands have been most notably featured in Coldplay’s “Charlie Brown” music video and at the band’s concerts.
These bands are given away free to the entire audience before the show and come in a variety of colors. They have the Twitter hashtag #coldplayfilm printed on them to promote the band’s live DVD. When turned on during the concert, the audience is illuminated with multicolored twinkling lights.
The Xylobands help to create a sense of community between the fans and connect them to the artist. After the concerts, they can either recycle the wristbands onsite or keep them free of charge. See what they look like in action in the video below:
Jason Regler, the Xyloband inventor and co-owner of RB Concepts told in an interview that he came up with the idea after listening to a lyric from the Coldplay song, "Fix You."
"In 2005, when Coldplay did the Glastonbury Festival, I remember I was going through a few down days and I saw them doing Fix You. And there was just a feeling of it bringing everyone together, as well as the line "lights will guide you home." That's when the idea of a wristband came to mind."
The entire concept was created with Coldplay in mind luckily the group was extremely receptive to the idea.
The LED Technology
The wristbands are controlled from single laptop that’s loaded with Xyloband’s software, provided by the RB Concepts company. The laptop is then connected to a transmitter and antenna through a cable, which can broadcast a signal to control the wristbands up to 328 yards away. Each wristband has a receiver, which allows data to be sent from the laptop to the wristbands, telling them how and when to flash during the concert.
Currently, the wristbands can only be switched on during events using the transmitters, combined with RB Concept’s software.
The Afterglow and the funny stories:
These wristbands are usually supposed to get turned off after the concerts. But there have been hilarious stories of Coldplay fans that freaked out when the wristbands continued to glow.
One fan told the Telegraph, "My Xyloband woke me up in the middle of the night and it's still glowing."
Another joked, "Really weird, my dad's white Xyloband just started flashing again." A Belgian fan added: "Mine is alive! It started flickering about an hour ago."
Clive Banks, who is the co-founder of RB Concepts told The Independent that the "afterglow" is no cause for concern. "There's no mind control or tracking, they are just for fun," he said.
However Regler believes that if the Xylobands could be activated at home, users would control them during the event—thus ruining the community experience of flashing as one light.
For now geeks can try and replicate the transmission to activate the Xylobands, but according to Regler they might have a bit of trouble cracking the code.
The Cost to the Band
The front man Chris Martin confessed that the band was considering dumping the gimmick because of the huge cost.
"Most of the money we're earning on the tour is put into the wristbands," he told Bauer Radio. "We have to figure out how to keep it going without going broke because it's a crucial part of the concert."
The Band’s Guitarist Johnny Buckland said that it has cost Coldplay nearly half a million Euro a night to fund the Xylobands but he hopes they will be able to continue doing it. "It looks amazing, it just makes everyone have a great time, most of all us - and it just feels so magical".