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An interactive lighter enhances live experiences


Aarhus startup Lightr wants to turn the audience’s smartphones into a collective light show during concerts, football matches and other live events.

Aarhus startup Lightr wants to turn the audience’s smartphones into a collective light show during concerts, football matches and other live events.

This post is also available in: Danish

100,000 people in front of the Orange Stage simultaneously raise their hands and wave a lit lighter from side to side to the tune from the stage. Today, however, most lighters have been taken over by the light on your smartphone. And if startup Lightr succeeds, the next step in the development will be for the audience to turn the screen towards the stage and play an interactive light show together.

“With our Lightr platform, we are expanding the horizon of what an event can offer, creating new, unique experiences that are not only valuable and more interactive for the audience – but also for artists, sports organisers and other events,” explains Johannes Valentin Berg.

Together with Christian Holmgaard Lund, he is the founder of Lightr, which enables lighting designers and event organisers to develop and play a joint, interactive light show on the audience’s mobile phones. Although the startup is young, the concept has already been tested with the Simon Kvamm band Hugorm, among others.

Last fall Lightr tested the technology with the rock band Hugorm whose third owner Theis Wermuth is the companys lighting designer

From master’s thesis to startup

“The idea came one semester before our master’s thesis when we had a free play project. This is where Johannes came up with the idea of having a light show on people’s mobile phones. And then we used the time to pinpoint which technologies were worth using,” says Christian Holmegaard Lund.

How can a mobile light show be delivered to many phones at the same time, how do you do it in a way that doesn’t require an app and a login, and how do you actually get users to embrace it? These are the kinds of questions the two founders investigated while completing their Master’s degree in IT Product Development at Aarhus University.

With their education in place, both founders have subsequently been in the labour market for a year. But recently, they both secured an Innofounder grant from Innovation Fund Denmark, so they can spend the next year developing the company in the innovation hub Hatch IT Lab.

“It has always been our hope that we would return to Lightr. This is what we have been searching for. So now we’re taking the plan we’ve made, the lessons we’ve learnt from the business world, and going all-in,” says Christian Holmgaard Lund.

Business is on the way

Currently, Lightr can display colours, images and text so that the lighting designer can, for example, trigger a strobe light on all the audience’s phones at the same time. The technology still needs further development – for example, the founders want to be able to draw a unified image across the audience’s mobile phones to replace the huge banners at football matches. But the technology is ready in its first version, so now it’s time to find the business.

“It’s still early in the process, and our business model is not finalised. We would like our technology to be used for any live event – whether it’s a football match, a concert, or anything else. Also, whether it’s for 50 or 50,000 people. The essence is just that we want to add to the experience and make it more interactive,” says Johannes Valentin Berg.

Fact: Meet Lightr – and 7 other promising startups at the Digital Tech Summit:

The eight universities have each selected one startup to be invited to pitch their solution at this year’s Digital Tech Summit on November 8-9. Lightr has been selected to represent Aarhus University.

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