Montreal company lights up the Super Bowl halftime show after a tough year for entertainment

The Weeknd performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Weeknd may have lit up the stage at Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show, but it was a Montreal company that lit up The Weeknd.

As the Canadian popstar hit the stage, he was illuminated by thousands of dazzling lights from the crowd. The audience, which included some 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers, were outfitted with wristbands manufacted in Montreal by Pixmob.

“You're seeing an immense amount of light that is pulsating, in sync, that is unified, that is beating to the beat of the music,” said Pixmob's Jean-Olivier Dalphond. “There's something powerful in that.”

Pixmob has collaborated with many artists from around the world, helping to bring their stageshows to life. But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of most live music.

“We had to make a call, do we fold or do we fight?” said Dalphond. “We decided to fight.”

The creativity of our Canadian entrepreneurs shines at the #SuperBowl! Bravo @PixMobOfficial, a company that comes directly to you from Ahuntsic-Cartierville. �� https://t.co/s98mdbhWoC

— Mélanie Joly (@melaniejoly) February 8, 2021

The company pivoted, finding a new, pandemic-friendly use for their lights.

“What it can do is, if you're next to someone, within two metres, your clip is going to light up to warn you that social distancing is not being respected,” said Dalphond.

The light clip also warns workers if they've been near a coworker who tests positive for COVID-19.

Dalphond said the technology has been adopted in manufacturing plants and movie studios as they work to keep their workers safe.

“We're not out of the woods yet, but I think it's the beginning of the end,” said Dalphond. “Next year, we'll see each other again and we'll party even harder.” 

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