Three event tech trends to watch

We look at three event tech trends making waves in 2016, including drones, daylight projection mapping and Magic Leap.

New technology means projections can be created that are bright enough to stand out in daylight
New technology means projections can be created that are bright enough to stand out in daylight

Daylight projection mapping

The Rugby World Cup was the event that cemented brands’ appetite for huge projection mapping projects, with Heineken using this cutting-edge lighting to turn Somerset House into a rugby stadium, and O2 using the technology to broadcast tweets onto the roof of its namesake venue. The latter is an example of how interactivity has now become a crucial part of the projection mapping experience: it is another device for brands looking to combine social with experiential. But now, tech companies are beginning to combat a different challenge.

"The future is most definitely daylight," says Jay Young, senior account manager at Projection Artworks. "Until now, projections have mostly been limited to night-time. But new tech means we are now able to create projections that are bright enough to stand out in daylight.

He explains: "Conquering daylight conditions has opened the doors for retailers and exhibitioners alike to introduce projection mapping into the most challenging of locations. Expect projection mapped display units on stands at Olympia, projection shelves in the supermarket and multiple projection retail windows on the high street."


Drones are no longer just for supergeeks – they give brands and agencies the ability to capture content from an event from a fresh, unseen perspective. Initials employed them to film Ella Eyre’s performance at the launch of the remastered Fiat 500, while Pepsi Max dreamed up ‘Drone football’ as part of its experience-based digital campaign, Genius.

However drones are also more than just flying cameras – they can be used to create unique light displays. By their very nature they can be choreographed with ultimate precision, and the once-expensive kit is now dropping in price as more consumer models hit the market. Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox showcased drones’ experiential potential back in August, when a drone was used to fly Fantastic Four’s burning ‘Human Torch’ over New York.

Magic Leap 

One of the most elusive technologies of 2015 has been Magic Leap, an extreme, cinematic form of augmented reality that has received $542m (£359m) in investment. The premise is a headset that houses a miniature projector, which overlays virtual 3D objects on top of the wearer’s field of vision. The user would also be able to control the situation using a ‘totem’ – the tech’s version of a computer mouse.

Other than a patent application filed this year, the Florida-based Magic Leap has kept quiet about other plans. The premise is similar to Microsoft’s Hololens, which the public knows much more about. 

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