How Does it Work?


The range of your device can vary depending on multiple factors. Ideally, you're at an outdoor event that's fairly open (think Coachella or Burning Man). If you're indoors or in a cave somewhere (sounds sick, please invite us), you probably won't be able to get positional info. You can still send messages through the device, and it'll obviously still look cool in party mode, but the friend finding part might not be great. 

The range of the device increases when there are more Crowd Compasses in use - regardless of if they are in your crew or not. If you have a large group of friends, or there are other crews at the festival with a Crowd Compass, then range and reliability of each Crowd Compass at that festival will be boosted. More really is merrier! 

Regardless of how many people at the festival have a Crowd Compass though, you only see the devices you've paired with. See below for more details on this. 

However, let's say there's two people in your crew and nobody else at the festival has a Crowd Compass. The table below helps put the range of two devices into perspective: 


Largest Diameter (MI)

Covered with a Pair of Crowd Compasses?

Montreal Jazz Fest


Yup, no problem
Ultra Miami 0.40 Yup, no problem
Primavera Sound 0.57 Yup, no problem
Lollapalooza 0.74 Yup, no problem
Coachella 1.11 Yup, no problem
EDC Vegas 1.23 Yup, no problem 
Electric Forest Festival 1.25 Yup, no problem
Bonnaroo 1.56 Yup, no problem
Tomorrowland 1.80 / 0.94*

Yup, no problem

Burning Man 2.23**

Black Rock City is 100% covered

Within Trash Fence should be fine, we're just not 100% certain on the data measurements here.

Glastonbury 3.01 Yup, no problem
 *Camping distance / festival grounds distance
**This is the distance of Black Rock City, not the Trash Fence.

Big thanks to someone awesome for the data. It be found on Imgur here


The Network


Crowd Compass uses a 915 MHz radio frequency to talk to each other. It's common for other similar technologies to use a 2.4 GHz frequency, which is the same frequency as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, the 2.4 GHz frequency is absorbed by water 12x more than 915 MHz*, and as you may know, humans and trees (both are often found at many music festivals...) are made of mostly water. Therefore, a device utilizing 2.4 GHz will have less range in a crowded music festival (or one in the woods). With Crowd Compass though, the 915 MHz works great in big crowds and in areas with trees and other vegetation, giving you a better performing product with a longer and more consistent range!   

*Source here

Mesh Network

Crowd Compass creates a mesh network. This means each compass is a relay for information, allowing all Compasses in the area to work together. And one decentralized, self-healing network is created! This is different than your phone's signal, as your phone will establish a single connection with the internet (either Wi-Fi or LTE) and it will try to hang on to that 1:1 connection until it's forced to give up. That's why there's such shitty service at festivals: One access point is trying to create thousands of individual connections with everyone's phone, so the more people at a festival, the worse the signal gets. But with hundreds or thousands of Crowd Compass users at a festival, the signal strength actually gets stronger!  

This does not mean your device shows everyone at the festival with a Crowd Compass. When you pair your device with your crew, you create a private, encrypted group visible to only you and your squad. This means you see your friends, they see you, and that's it - your locations are not shared with anyone else. However, let's say there are two (or 200!) other crews at the festival with Crowd Compass. In this case, everyone's signal strength and range will be stronger because the Crowd Compass mesh network uses each group's device to lift each other up. You're sharing signal strength and increasing each other's range, but you're not sharing your location or messages. It's kind of like how the more PLUR is in the air, the more it spreads and increases along the way!