Insider Band: #ExperientialWearables

Being always connected, people have developed the habit of sharing their most memorable experiences with others in an instant.

Music festivals see some of the most social and tech-savvy millennials in the world as attendees. Unfortunately for music festival lovers who want to share live updates with the world, the venues for such events are almost always non-conducive to proper connectivity.

This is why the Insider Band was introduced to the hugely popular Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco. It works on NFC technology (near field communication).

Auto insurance company Esurance, in a collaboration with ClearHart, installed eight 14-foot towers with NFC-enabled Nexus 7 tablets mounted on each of them, around the venue. Attendees could tap their Insider Bands to the tablets to share their festival updates with friends, in real-time.


A Tap to Stay Connected

Attendees to the festival could register online for an Insider Band prior to the festival and connect it to their Facebook profiles. After collecting the band from the venue on the day of the festival, they could tap the activated bands on the towers to check in on Facebook, find friends at the venue and message them, and also win goodies to exclusive events – all without having to rely on their service providers’ network reception.

As per ClearHart’s data, during the three-day festival, 8,060 registered users tapped 29,753 times and uploaded 4,780 photos. That’s a lot of tapping!

Revisiting Existing Technology with Creative Ideas

The idea worked because of an intelligent approach to the existing NFC technology – which enables connected devices to establish radio connection with each other by touching them together or being in close proximity. It gave people the opportunity to tell their story in a fun and interactive manner, without having to compromise on the quality of their experience – which is what happens when festival-goers struggle to establish connections on their cell phones. Users could check in and post photos to Facebook, which would also later be available in an online memory bank.

Being relatively new, the full potential of NFC technology is still to be realised. It also is an idea that’s scalable because it brings together, in a fun manner, what the millennial generation is most familiar with – experiential events and wearable tech.


Video: The Insider Band

Read: Why do people share their lives online?

Infographic: How to Use NFC technology in Your Marketing Strategy

This post is a part of our monthly People’s Insights brief for April – Part 2: The Mobile & Wearable Web

Melanie Joe

Melanie Joe

Melanie is Consultant - Research and Insights at MSLGROUP, based in Mumbai. She tracks inspiring initiatives in the digital space for People's Insights.

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