Thursday, September 23, 2021

How Wearable Tech Will Transform Live Music

Ahmir Questlove Thompson
Ahmir ?questlove Thompson

*Wearable technology like smart glasses, watches and fitness bands reached a $3 billion dollar market in 2014 alone, according to consulting company Deloitte.

Wearables are gaining speed and popularity across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, hospitality and music.

This tech goes beyond any of its predecessors by allowing more than listening to music and snapping photos of performers. The following tech changes how music is consumed and experienced:


Performers wear Lightwave to get feedback from their audience. It collects data about your crowd by measuring movement, audio levels and temperature. So, when a performer, like Jay-Z, breaks into a rap or Ahmir ?questlove Thompson from The Roots plays an intense drum solo, Lightwave can analyze how the audience reacts to it. This can then influence future music choices for these artists. The device also has the ability for fans to unlock a specific event or win a prize based on different activity levels.


Black Eyed Peas’ frontman ventured into entrepreneurship and wearable technology as an early investor for Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics. After he saw it acquired by Apple for $3 billion, he unveiled his new Puls product. Unlike most smart watches that need a smartphone to operate, Puls can text, make calls and play music without the aid of another device. Wearing Puls on your wrist makes it easy to share music, post updates to social media and check the weather before heading out to a festival without worrying about dropping it or digging it out of your pocket for access.

Samsung Gear S

The Samsung Gear S wearable smartwatch is compatible with multiple Galaxy smartphones. The idea is that you can strap on your smartwatch and head out for a concert, party or jet set on a whim without worrying about keeping up with your phone. The smartwatch also can search for locations hands-free, monitor your health and send emails.

High-Tech Wristbands

More concerts and festivals are experimenting with high-tech wristbands that streamline the experience. Lollapalooza already went cashless by allowing attendees to hook up their credit or debit cards to smart bracelets. This allowed them to make quick purchases at the festival, which might account for the higher amount of sold merchandise, food and beverages.

The Tomorrowland festival also experimented with wearable technology last year in Boom, Belgium. Like Lollapalooza, the bracelets worked like admission tickets for entry, but they also helped connect attendees through Facebook. When two people pressed a heart-shaped button on the bracelet at the same time, the cloud servers sent each an email with their Facebook to give them a chance to connect.

Insider Band

Music festival goers can skip the hassle of trying to figure out where to meet everyone in their group with the Esurance sponsored Insider Band that launched at San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Guests can check into different locations, send a message to a friend or take a photo. This means that fans spend less time searching for each other and more time enjoying the music. These wristbands also can notify you if you win a prize, let you download the set list of what you’re listening to and remind you where the best food and drinks are located.



  1. next up: free admission to any concert with 666 branded on your forehead – or implant a microchip into the palms of your hands and cover your ears to hear your favorite music – just cough to change a genre until you get to your favorite musical category; no more ear buds making you go deaf or headphones messing up your hairdo – apparently I have already been to my last concert; I am not down with people shooting gamma rays through me to see if I’m having a good time – if I paid to get in that oughta be good enough and if I buy your CD then be glad I didn’t pull it off the internet for free – this is ridiculous …


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