People love to complain about the proliferation of smartphones at live music events, as fans film, text, and even wave their phones in the air like lighters. But Slugworth’s inConcertApp, the first iteration of which is currently under review by Apple for inclusion in iTunes, stands a good chance of convincing at least some of the haters that smartphones and live music are actually a good combination.
Originally conceived as a replacement for the lighter held aloft at concerts for decades, inConcertApp coordinates a colorful animated designs on people’s screens for each song so that when they hold them aloft, they can literally change the color of a venue. That’s pretty neat already, but inConcertApp also packs a helpful feature that tells you which song is currently playing and lets you buy it on iTunes if it floats your boat.
“The original idea was, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if everyone held up their phones and they all had the same animation on it, so you could get it all over the whole venue,” Steve Revare president and creative director told Evolver.fm. “At a big show, it will be pretty dramatic.”
Fans can also use inConcertApp to request songs, send messages about the show to Twitter using consistent hashtags, and vote for encores. All of this is administered by one of the band’s “people,” who can control the whole thing through their iPhone. The app can be funded in three ways: brands can sponsor it to make it free, the band can pay for it, or the band can decide to charge fans to use it. Once Slugworth recoups its costs (which depend on the complexity of the desired animations and other factors), it splits revenue from the with the band.
InConcertApp will be available per artist, and Slugworth is starting with the iPhone, with an Android version planned for later. The first one to use inConcertApp is the singer, songwriter and pianist Vienna Teng, whose inConcertApp should be available within the week.
Revare, who has multiple patents pending on inConcertApp, plans to offer the service to a large number of other bands too, so the next time you go to a show, don’t be surprised if people start holding up their cellphones and it actually improves the show.