Montreal’s PixMob develops unique, versatile multimedia approaches for enabling lighting effects in the crowd during major events. Optech developed and implemented a new optical configuration to optimize the system’s performance.

PixMob-created portable devices worn by spectators respond to commands by an interactive, optical infrared projection system that make them light up, shut off, flicker, change colour and twinkle. PixMob has also demonstrated its know-how on a global scale during major events such as Super Bowl 2014 and the Sotchi Olympic Games.

“PixMob is proud to have collaborated with Optech and the André-Laurendeau CEGEP. Our teams worked together to develop new, higher-performance imaging and projection optics. The results will be implemented in the field very soon.”
– Vincent Leclerc, CTO, PixMob

With help from an Applied Research and Development (ARD) grant received in 2014 by the André-Laurendeau CEGEP, Optech researchers first characterized the optical performance of the projector used by Pixmob. They then created a CAD model of the projector and optimized a new optical engine and a new projection lens using software simulation to substantially increase the light intensity of the projected visuals. The researchers went on to assemble a new prototype including components optimized for narrow bandwidth in near infrared. The freeform acrylic lenses that go into the imaging system were produced by Optech’s diamond turning lathe. With the new projector, the projected intensity increased by over 300%, and there were marked improvements in the angular coverage and image uniformity of the projected images.