Sendrato (warning: autoplay video halfway down page), an international company based in Amsterdam, makes wireless wristbands that it bills as “wearable technology for managing and connecting crowds”. Though that phrasing may sound a bit Orwellian, the use of wearable devices at festivals, conventions and other large venues is as much about social connection and enhancing the visitor experience as it is about managing the flow of people and their data.
The company’s bracelet module combines indoor positioning, an RFID chip, two LEDs and a programmable button to create a device that can locate and identify a particular visitor and allow them to interact with friends, exhibitors, brands, and event staff. The module can be embedded into a variety of materials to create custom wristbands tailored to a particular event or venue.
For attendees of large-scale events, the most welcome features are obviously the ability to locate friends and find one’s way around the convention center or festival grounds. The trade-off, of course, is that brands and exhibitors can easily track who’s nearby and target them for instant digital engagement — which may or may not be welcome to a particular attendee, but has a lot of interesting possibilities for people to interact beyond jostling their way up to have a shouted conversation with a booth staffer. And everyone can benefit from conveniences like cashless payments and access control, as well as the increased safety that comes from event managers being able to monitor the density of the crowd in different areas and take steps to prevent congestion.
Sendrato took the top prize at the Innovation World Cup in early 2015. Learn more in the video below.