BlinkFX, a producer of an innovative new patent pending entertainment system created to better engage audiences at live events of all types.
BlinkFX was looking to engage a service provider who could demonstrate agility, prompt delivery, and a full array of services. Besides these abilities, Softeq’s strength in electrical design was referenced by such esteemed brand as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
The primary goal was to have a wearable (wristband) light-up product that could be controlled wirelessly and integrated into a lighting control system using the industry standard DMX lighting controls. BlinkFX wanted to get into the business of providing small, light-up, entertainment devices for concerts, sporting events, corporate events, conferences, etc.
Softeq’s team was to create Wink, a patent pending LED lighted disc that mounts to just about any wristband, lanyard or strap up to 25mm wide and 2mm thick. BlinkFX had a set of desired features for both the Winks and the IR DMX controllers. All the functionality was to be implemented within tight three months to be ready for launch for the large SXSW trade show and a concert featuring the legends of Hip Hop — Doritos Bold Stage.
The Wink utilizes standard DMX 512 protocol to control wirelessly light-up, wearable devices thus integrating them into a light show. The IR DMX controllers process DMX commands from lighting control systems and convert them into proprietary IR packets that are then sent to Wink devices through a wireless connection. The Winks process as small as 4-12-byte packets of data that specify the current LED state they should be displaying.
The most important part of the project was defining, implementing, and resolving issues with wireless IR communication between the IR DMX controller and the Wink.
During the implementation the team had to work around several problems. Some of the most challenging issues were fixing battery connection with the Wink plastic case, optimizing the device circuit power consumption, and developing the DMX parsing firmware for the IR DMX controller.
The project ran as an iterative development in line with the “design — implement — test” workflow followed by several fix and QA iterations. Since the hardware or firmware requirements where clearly defined on the early stage of the project, the Project Manager communicated with the customer and pulled in engineers to complete tasks on a needs basis.
The solution provides for unique capabilities (and also allows integrating the developed technology into a wide variety of wearable devices). They can be wirelessly controlled globally or as 16 individual groups tied into lighting or show control systems using a standard DMX protocol.
Softeq’s team stepped up to deliver the solution when BlinkFX was in a crunch to meet the deadlines in providing the system for the upcoming trade show. The system is easy to setup and operate, whereas the individual wearable items are accessible at a very affordable price, which makes them perfect for brand marketing and fund raising efforts.
The products have been well-received and successfully used at several shows and events. BlinkFX looks forward to future development.
Currently, BlinkFX is targeting well-known product brands for marketing and corporate sponsored events. The company is also interested in pursuing sporting events, such as high school football and basketball, where small light-up devices can be sold for low cost and fund raising items for booster clubs.
Also, BlinkFX is considering other form factors for the product, as well as developing a “home party” kit which would contain a small controller and several light-up devices controllable via a mobile device app.