We were contacted by HeyWire, a company from Boston that produces free world wide text messaging, to add lasers to an event they were hosting at SXSW (South by Southwest music convention) in Austin, TX. The plan was to rent out a building with a bar, throw a good party inside it (with lasers, of course!) and then project two lasers on the front of the building from an office across the street. One laser would project the HeyWire logos, and the other would be open for anyone to send text messages to – their messages would scroll across the building in laser light! People strolling down the street and lining up for other parties across the street could not help but notice the HeyWire presence.
The bar that they selected was “Friends”, in the heart of Austin’s 6th Street entertainment district, and a few doors down from the historic Driskill Hotel. DJ DNS, visiting SXSW from Amsterdam, was called upon the get the masses inside the club moving. Laser Spectacles installed two RGB laser projectors under MIDI control inside the club for this party.
Outdoors, the text messaging worked perfectly. Using Pangolin’s “Interactive Messaging Unlimited” SMS software, people who got the special phone number could send it a text, and their message would appear in laser. Over the four hours that the show ran, the sytem received 534 text messages!