Coldplay Rocks the RF Wristband
Nothing lights up a rock arena quite like a Coldplay audience with tens of thousands of flashing Xylobands LED wristbands powered by embedded technology from Silicon Laboratories Inc., a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs).
The Xylobands are the unique, patented creation of inventor and Coldplay fan Jason Regler, a co-owner of UK-based RB Concepts. Coldplay’s high-energy music and lyrics inspired Regler’s bright idea to create a wireless LED wristband that could be controlled remotely through proprietary software and a laptop connected to a radio transmitter to enable fans to be part of the lightshow.
Recognizing the brilliance of Regler’s invention, the Brit Awards- and Grammy-winning rock band has used Xylobands to light up arenas and stadiums all around the world.
Xylobands use wireless ICs and ultra-low-power microcontrollers (MCUs) from Silicon Labs to receive and process wireless signals that trigger each wristband’s LEDs to light up in sync with the music and stage lightshow.
“RB Concepts and Silicon Labs have been outstanding,” added Phil Harvey, Coldplay’s creative director. “The wireless LED wristbands have broken down that invisible wall between band and audience and put the audience right at the heart of the show. The mass feeling of joy and wonder when they all light up at the top of the show is hard to put into words.”
Xylobands have a very broad appeal. In addition to lighting up rock concerts, they can generate interactive audience participation at a wide variety of sporting events, theme parks, festivals, parties and corporate activities. “Xylobands and the low-power, long-range wireless technology behind the product is a game changer for how audiences can interact with performers and become an integral part of the concert experience,” said Diwakar Vishakhadatta, vice president and general manager of Wireless Embedded Systems at Silicon Labs.
Silicon Labs’ EZRadioPRO transmitters enable Xylobands base stations to transmit wireless signals in the sub-GHz frequency bands. These transmitters offer exceptional RF wireless range and compliance with stringent wireless regulatory standards. Xylobands LED wristbands include EZRadio receiver ICs designed for low-power sub-GHz radio applications. These receivers offload many RF-related activities from the system MCU, allowing extended MCU sleep periods and resulting in lower power consumption; a great choice for battery-powered wireless applications.
“Taking the LED wristband from concept to finished product required best-in-class embedded control and wireless technology,” said Jason Regler, director of technology and innovation at RB Concepts. “Silicon Labs was the ideal choice for wireless technology, enabling us to achieve both FCC and Industry Canada Certification and deliver more than 30,000 Xylobands just in time for a recent Coldplay concert in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.”
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