James-Patten

Patten Studio, a company that creates magical interactive experiences

In our series of showcasing our strong worldwide network of partners, we would like to introduce you today to one of our main contractors, Patten Studio.

Patten Studio collaborated with PixMob in the field of software development for our latest innovative technology PixMob VIDEO, which debuted this year for the first time at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Identity
Name of the Company
Patten Studio
Location
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Number of employees
4
Activities
  • interaction design,
  • electrical engineering,
  • software development,
  • mechanical engineering and fabrication


James-Patten

James Patten

Patten Studio creates new interactive experiences, exhibits and objects. They take an interdisciplinary approach, combining skill in interaction design and graphic design with expertise in software and electrical engineering to meet the needs of each project. Past projects include a 30 meter-long liquid crystal display sculpture, several kinetic installations in the windows of New York City luxury department stores and interactive science museum exhibits. Patten’s work has been exhibited at MoMA and recognized by the American Alliance of Museums, the Industrial Designers Society of America and ID Magazine, among others.

Gallery

chase-pattenChem-pattenWibbonReg-patten

The Chase

Create a Chemical Reaction

Patterned by nature

About PixMob

Working with the PixMob team was amazing. The team has such a positive energy and works together so well to make things happen on schedule in the face of a looming deadline. It was so exciting to be a part of making this project come together.James Patten

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 2.36.08 PM

Website: www.pattenstudio.com

 

The Creators Project

“The idea of PixMob was to think of people as pixel-wearers, they are going to create a light canvas,” says Vincent Leclerc, the CTO of PixMob, a design studio that focuses on turning live events into immersive spectacles by inserting LEDs in ordinary objects, subsequently making them magical. Whether it’s embedding LEDs in hats given out to Super Bowl XLVIII attendees in February, or creating colourful, blinking bracelets for concert-goers to wear at Tiësto’s Hakkasan residency in Las Vegas, PixMob is evolving cultural milestones into illuminated extravaganzas.

The Creators Project was fascinated in how PixMob create wearable LED devices that enable wireless, living artwork, and so they made a doc on the company that’s turning crowds into light paintings in real time.

Read the full article

just before the game

Behind the Scenes at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Minutes before Bruno Mars took the stage to rock MetLife stadium and the 115 million fans watching from home, Halftime directors were understandably nervous. After months of planning and preparation, the penultimate moment was upon them – but there was a problem. PixMob directors were also experiencing a fair amount pre-game anxiety. The Montreal-based firm that lit up crowds at music festivals like Coachella and Osheaga with state-of-the-art crowd activation technology had a new challenge worthy of the grand stage that is the Super Bowl.

Rewind several months: In March 2013, David Parent, CEO of PixMob, decided to pick up the phone and pitch the NFL on a brand new technology being developed by his company, PixMob. Formerly known as Eski Studio, PixMob is the brain child of Parent and his business partner, Vincent Leclerc. The creative minds at the Montreal-based company develop innovative ways to connect crowds and reinvent the fan experience. PixMob VIDEO, the most recent invention, was what Parent was bringing to the NFL.

Intrigued by the concept, the NFL booked Metlife stadium in New York for a demonstration.  The PixMob crew arrived with test equipment, test pixels and a team of technicians – but, as with many new technologies, there was some nervousness as to whether the technology would work as planned. The team armed themselves with four hours of video content to show the production team. In the end, it took just ten minutes to convince NFL producers that they were looking at the technology for the next Halftime show.

PixMob VIDEO : the preparation

tests

Over the next six months, the PixMob crew worked feverishly in its Montreal studio to build and perfect infrared transmitters destined for Rutherford, New Jersey. The result was PixMob VIDEO, a technology that allows show producers to create live video effects using the audience as a canvas. This patented and ground-breaking technology allows for real-time transmission of colour information onto any number of mobile pixels, in the form of wearable LED objects, at hundreds of thousands of individual locations. The entire system works off a run-of-the-mill Mac computer connected to a video server, which sends a video signal to pixels in the crowd, telling them what combination of colour they have to be at any given time. The effects and content displayed on this human video screen is limited only to the imagination of the designer sitting at the controls of this complex remote control system.

The VIDEO Ski Hat

Spectator view with Pepsi hat

Still, the transmission of invisible data is only one piece of the puzzle. The next issue to tackle was the design of a wearable object that could house each pixel, or LED circuit. PixMob designers eventually settled on a ski hat (or “tuque” in Canadian parlance), which would serve the dual purpose of protecting both heads and batteries from sub-zero temperature conditions.

The hat turned out to be a good choice. When PixMob technicians and programmers descended upon their new home away from home two weeks prior to the Super Bowl, so too did 2014’s longest snow storm.

the day after

For two weeks – nearly right up to game day – the NFL and PixMob were concerned that the driving precipitation would force the game to be postponed or moved. For PixMob, the snow and cold weather wreaked havoc on the relatively delicate process of dialing in powerful rays of invisible light. Still, the team stayed in good spirits, appreciating the moment and enjoying the experience. “No fun allowed” was the cheeky slogan of PixMobians during their two week adventure, playing up the otherwise stressful environment they were working in.  

When PixMob began this adventure, they weren’t sure of the fan reaction to the mysterious ski hats placed at each seat in the stands, enclosed in a package labelled with instructions to put the hat on for Halftime. As the key moment approached and the first effects were sent out to the pixels, the show directors and PixMob officials became concerned by the lack of, well, anything.  People were not wearing their LED hats! Without them, the effects and content preprogrammed to go along with the onstage performance of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers would look less than ideal.

 

D-Day : PixMob VIDEO at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

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The PixMob team sprang into action, using the video server to create sweeping colour effects across the crowd. As the effects began to move around the stadium, catching the attention of fans, those not yet wearing hats rushed to put them on to become part of the largest video screen of all time. The show itself was a smashing success. Social media buzzed as fans took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to post pictures and comments about their LED hats..

As the rest of the PixMob crew proudly watched from a local pub in Montreal, a collective sentiment of joy and relief was felt amongst all the members of the staff. The relatively small company had grown exponentially as a result of this game-changing Super Bowl Halftime Show, opening a new chapter in its history. The whole team was excited to get back to work, looking for more ways to innovate and reinvent rituals – but first, it was time to celebrate.


Special thanks to :

Executive Producer  RICKY KIRSHNER

Supervising Producer  ROB PAINE

Director  HAMISH HAMILTON

Hippo Operator JASON RUDOLPH

Cast Field Director KRISTEN TERRY

Lighting Director DAVE GRILL

Multimedia Developers JAMES PATTEN

& JEAN-SÉBASTIEN ROUSSEAU

Industrial Designer SÉBASTIEN DALLAIRE

Lighting Designer BOB BARNHART

Rigging Coordinator STEVE THOMAS

Production Designer BRUCE RODGERS