Imagine being at a concert where everyone’s pen flashed and changed color in synchronization with the music or performance. Sony Engineering Corporation and Sony Music Communications Inc worked together to create just such a pen, called FreFlow.
FreFlow has been tested at two concerts in the last few months by distributing the pens to attendees at the entrance then collecting them after the concert.
It looks like a conventional pen light but is able to change color and flash through remote control wireless transmission. It can produce any color by mixing the three primary colors, red, green and blue.
The color and light is controlled remotely by the ‘master pen’ holder, who changes the color and speed of all other FreFlow pen lights present. This creates a performance in itself, as the light pulses with the beat of the music or the color changes as the artists begins a new song. The color of the light can also be changed individually by hand.Japanese rock band Fuji Fabric, in conjunction with the release of their new single, “Light Flight”, integrated FreFlow into their performance at a free outdoor concert held on October 24th. The FreFlows turned yellow within the first two melodies and white during the refrain, waving back and forth in the hands of fans. Attendees could change the colors of their pen lights by hand during two medium ballads to fit the mood of the songs as they pleased. When all the pen lights changed in unison from yellow to white, a sense of belonging as well as a new visual pleasure was born among the audience. During the concert when keyboard player Daisuke Kanazawa MC-ed the talk portion of the concert. He held the ‘parent’ light, changing the audiences ‘children’ lights, in a wave of ‘magic’. The audience got a kick out of the performance even more when Vocal Guitarist Souichiro Uchiyama called him the ‘Wizard of Light’. The fans went wild when he then changed the lights himself to the cry of his guitar. The concert takes on an exciting new visual effect. It is also a new way for the artists to communicate with the fans.
The first time FreFlow was tried on an audience was at an August 17th concert by the pop idol group, Smileage. They were able to break the audience up into the colors of the girls’ costumes with the parts they sang. There were five areas in the audience that changed colors as the girls sang their different parts.
The producers of FreFlow are in the process of deciding on a market strategy for merchandising FreFlow. After both concerts there was positive feedback in the desire to buy the product if it was available for purchase. This could be a communication tool to create a new area in music entertainment.