Swiss Startup Tests LED-Fronted Ball Caps That Turn A Crowd Into An Aggregated Sign

May 9, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Tip of the hat to AV Interactive for writing about this ...

If I had to characterize my opinion on this, it would involve a big, long hmmmm …

A Swiss startup called Dynavisual put little LED screens on ball caps worn by 98 fans who were at a European Handball match in Switzerland, with the caps positioned as enhancing the fan experience.
It is a variation, I suppose, on LED wristbands that light up during concerts by artists like Coldplay. Or a different, more portable take on LED lights at seating, something done with paddles bolted to seats at the 2012 London Olympics stadium.

The caps displayed animations and special effects, including flames and symbols and the home team’s mascot throughout the game.

Here’s what Dynavisual says:

On April 4th, 2024, Dynavisual successfully tested its World Innovation IoT Platform during a quarterfinal matchup of the QHL Playoffs between Pfadi Winterthur Handball and Suhr Aarau at the AXA-Arena in Winterthur, Switzerland. This marked the first time their technology was used in a live sporting environment. With 98 LED pad-fitted caps, the revolutionary technology significantly enhanced the fan experience and engagement of the crowd.

The sync’d stuff – all the caps lighting at once for, let’s say, a goal – makes sense and has some visual interest. But the small animations on individual hats seem a bit cheesey and pointless in a crowd setting.

I also think this sync’d lighting stuff works better for concerts, because the house lights are off. That’s not the case at typical sports events, where they might be dimmed a bit but not switched off. This was a proof of concept, so maybe the use-case and ambient lighting situation doesn’t matter.

The company’s website identifies big sports and entertainment venues as a primary use-case – so 1,000s of these hats (or pads, as they call them) running at once. Interestingly, it also suggests the little LED pads could be used for safety alerts on hig viz jackets or embedded into fabric seats on passenger rail lines, indicating whether a seat is free or reserved.

European handball, for people reading that term and being a bit baffled, is an awesome sport that has a bit of basketball and a bit of soccer to it. It is big in Europe, with pro leagues, but very much a fringe game in North America.

This video shows what Dynavisual put together and how it worked at the game. Warning the background music is loud and the sort of thing used in the big moments of B movies when the worlds is saved from an asteroid hurtling towards it.

  1. Todd Fender says:

    In the famous words of Danny Glover, “I am too old for this #$%@”.

    Silly me, I still go to live events to watch the action on the ice/field.

    This looks a bit distracting and annoying…I say as I shake my cane and tell kids to get off my lawn.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Yeah, every spare second of a pro sports events seems to now be programmed to entertain … perhaps because ticket prices for many sports are nutty high now, and the pressure is on for non-stop experience.

  2. Paul Wheeler says:

    I like the “nerdiness” of what it would take to make this work but agree it would be distracting, ineffective, and just odd in the real world. I also bet a lot of hats will inadvertently go home with the wearer and would have to be replaced.

    Good for them but no…….

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