Go to enough music festivals and it’s bound to happen: You’re all alone, lost in a sea of people. For a short while, this can feel exhilarating but sooner or later, you’ll want to reconnect with your group. This can be a real problem; with tens of thousands of people connected to a network, smartphone service can be spotty at best, and even identifiers like totems lose their function in low lighting.
Thankfully, the good people at Festiie are hard at work solving this issue. Described as “the first ever festival smartband,” the company is developing a wearable device that allows users to locate their friends in the crowd, even if their phone is out of service or turned off.
Find my Festival Friends
According to the company’s Indiegogo page, the device—which looks like a wristwatch if the timepiece was replaced by an asterisk—uses RF (Radio Frequency) technology rather than phone networks or WiFi. As a result, Festiie has a range of over a mile and users can locate their friends by using either the app or the LED directional compass feature (yes, it literally lights a directional path for you to find your friends) on the device itself.
To the hundreds of thousands of people who will attend a large music festival this year, this tech is no small thing. Getting separated from friends has ruined concerts for countless people, and picking a designated meeting spot at a specific time means wasting valuable minutes that could be spent watching performances.
With Festiie, you’re free to take a quick bathroom break or wander off to check out a small stage artist without the worry of losing the crew. And if that small DJ winds up killing it, you can ping your friends to join you by alerting them you’d like to be found, a function which works even if your phone dies.
Festiie is even planning on incorporating a social element to its tech; by touching bands together wearers will be able to add new friends to their network. The best part? The company envisions this network feature to blossom into a social network where friendships forged at music festivals may continue to flourish. And all of this outside of the scrutiny of Facebook and public social media.
Now, with Festiie, the #fambam can truly grow and stay connected even after that last light dims on stage.
Technology like this is niche and novel, certainly, but in functionality, it genuinely has the capacity to change the festival experience itself. Consider how much time you spend coordinating schedules with your group or the anxious minutes that slowly tick by as you survey the bustling, noisy grounds for the people you came with. If you could find any member of your crew instantly, you’d feel free to chase your own whims, which is one of the best parts of any festival with multiple stages.
It’s also worth considering the safety implications of Festiie. Like it or not, alcohol and drug use are endemic at music festivals. Regardless if one partakes in such things, there are dangers that may impact a festival-goer’s time and the need to reconnect, or even call for emergency services, becomes a stark reality. Festiie helps with this by keeping locational tabs on each member of your group.
With festival season fast approaching, it can’t get here soon enough.