The only thing better than attending a concert is helping to create it.
At least, that’s according to the developers of Wham City Lights, the smartphone app that puts concertgoers in the middle of the action with a synchronized light show beaming straight from their phones. The lighter-wavers of yesteryear are finally getting an upgrade.
Baltimore-based musician Dan Deacon, visual artist Alan Resnick and software engineer Keith Lea brainstormed this now-hit technology, hoping to further engage the audience at their shows. The app debuted in July 2012, and has since sparked light shows on Brad Paisley’s Beat This Summer Tour and the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.
The Wham City Lights team — a crew of fewer than 10 employees — also works with musicians to develop their own apps, which use audio signals to link the phones without connecting to WiFi, piercing through outside noise.
“None of us are business people,” Lea joked, though the company has added customers and interested brands, thus far without venture capital or marketing of any kind. Though word-of-mouth has been effective, Lea said, the team is ready for investment so they can execute new ideas.
While many startups are building apps that use audio signal, Wham City’s unique model is uncharted territory for live events, and they haven’t found serious competitors yet.
“We’re always experimenting with what our app can do… That’s what really drives us — how can we push this,” said Lea.
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