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Dan Deacon Releases A Mobile App That Turns The Audience Into A Light Show

You know you’re gonna be waving that thing in the air anyway, might as well put it to good use!

by Julia Kaganskiy
29 August 2012, 10:33pm

It was only a matter of time before someone figured out a way to turn the audience itself into a light show spectacle, transforming the hundreds of mobile phones we’re all waving around into a sea of colorful pixels that pulse in sync with the music. It was bound to happen, and it somehow seems fitting that Dan Deacon, that experipop freak-folk shaman, should be the one to make it a reality with his first official mobile app, released on iPhone and Android today.

Designed by Wham City Apps, the app synchronizes all the phones in the room and turns the crowd into the supporting light show for the concert (without using any WiFi or data, as they so enthusiastically point out in the promo video above). The app also includes a musical instrument component that allows users to create and record their own musical sequences.

We love the project all the more because it reminds us of a more accessible, fit-in-your-pocket version of the Summer Into Dust LED-embedded beach ball stunt we pulled during Arcade Fire’s set at Coachella 2011, with the help of Chris Milk. It also looks a lot like the PixelPhones project designer Seb Lee-Delisle showed off at Flash On The Beach last year (though Seb’s project is actually an app-free one, it uses the phone’s native browser to perform its LED spectacle).

Whatever the inspiration, we’re glad this thing is finally a reality. Though if you’ve ever been to the sweaty dance party debacle that is a Dan Deacon show, you know that waving your phone in the air is a risky move, lest you like your phone trampled and shoe-sludged. We’re curious to see how Deacon incorporates this app into his performances, as it’s bound to join his famed dance-offs and call-and-response revelry as another mode of crowd participation.

But perhaps most importantly: “For the first time, having your phone out at a concert is not a jerk move.” – Dan Deacon’s iPhone app page.

[via The Verge]