Bonding with the Totem Compass: An Overview

A comprehensive overview of how to pair your Totem Compass with friends.

How to Bond the Totem Compass

Totem exists to bring people together. 

Our technology is creating a new era for music festivals and live events around the world: a safer, more immersive, more beautiful era than ever before. 

The beauty of the Totem Compass is that it allows you to stay connected with your friends without cell service or Wi-Fi. 

In most cases, cell phone service gets worse as people gather in a specific area. The Totem Compass is a totally different experience—the more people that have a Totem Compass, the better each compass functions.

For more detailed information, check out our blog post all about how the Totem Compass works. 

The Totem Compass is also incredibly easy to use. Most of the compass’ functionality lies within one button—the Touch Crystal. The Touch Crystal is located right at the center of the Totem Compass, and it is the primary button you will use to Bond with your friends. 

This article will cover how Bonding works with the Totem Compass.

In Totem vernacular, "Bonding" means "pairing"—specifically, the process of pairing your Totem Compass with other compasses.

In this article, you will learn: 

  • How to pair your Totem Compass with other compasses
  • How many peers you can Bond your Totem Compass with
  • How to stay connected if you’re in a large group
  • How to remove or change the peers you are paired to

How does Bonding work with the Totem Compass? 

The Bonding process describes how to pair your Totem Compass to another compass. We made this process really simple— there’s beauty in simplicity. 

When you want to Bond with a friend, all you have to do is follow 3 steps:

  1. Turn on your Totem Compass
  2. Move your Totem Compass next to your friends' Compass (about an inch apart)
  3. Press and hold the Touch Crystal at the same time as your friend

That’s it! You’re now Bonded. 

Totem Compass bonding guide
The result of a 3-way Totem Compass bond

What happens when I Bond my Totem Compass with my friends? 

As you press and hold the Touch Crystal to Bond your Totem Compass with your group, a ring of white light will appear around the compass and begin to “breathe”, or pulse. The circle of white light around the compass will then collapse into a single colored light.

Fun fact: this function is very similar to the double slit experiment for all you quantum nerds out there 😘 

That single-colored light will remain on for about 2 seconds, indicating the color that will now indicate the peer you’ve just Bonded with. When the Totem Compass is in friend-finding mode, each colored light corresponds to a friend in your group. The colors are assigned based on the order in which you Bonded with your friends. 

When you’re ready to find your friends at any point during the festival or live event, all you need to do is tilt your compass upwards and follow the direction of the light that corresponds to the peer you want to find. 

How to bond the Totem Compass
A ring of lights will "breathe" on the Totem Compass while you Bond

Can someone Bond their Totem Compass with me without my consent? 

The Totem Compass is designed with your safety—and consent—in mind. It's all about making you feel safe and connecting you to people you love.

The Totem Compasses communicate with each other through a connectionless peer-to-peer communication protocol. The protocol allows for a direct exchange of information between any compass without the need for a central server, cell tower, or Wi-Fi router. It’s also what keeps each Bond secure. 

Every Totem Compass contains a secure “key” within the broadcast channel of the peer-to-peer communication protocol. When you Bond your Totem Compass with a peer, the devices receive a signal from the broadcast channel and can determine how strong the signal is. 

The Totem Compass is designed to detect a very strong signal when the compasses are about an inch apart from each other. The compass also requires that you press and hold the Touch Crystal at the same time as your peers in order to Bond your Totem Compasses. These functions, layered on top of the Compasses’ secure keys, make it nearly impossible for anyone to Bond with you without your consent or knowledge. 

Totem Compass bonding process
Make sure to hold your Totem Compasses ~1 inch apart while Bonding

How many people can I Bond my Totem Compass with? 

Any one Totem Compass can pair with four other compasses. We designed the compasses this way intentionally. 

When you’re vibing hard at a music festival, there are already so many flashing lights around you. If there are more than 4 lights on your compass that you have to keep track of, it can complicate your experience. And we want you to have the best, most carefree experience you possibly can! 

What if I’m in a large group? How can I Bond my Totem Compass to everyone? 

Although each compass can only Bond with four other compasses, it isn’t a hard-paired circle of five. Each individual compass can pair with any other four compasses. So if you are smart about how you spread the Bonds around your group, you can easily make sure that everyone is connected in your group. 

For example, John could Bond with Alli and Tim. But that doesn’t mean that Alli and Tim have to bond with each other. Tim could bond with John, Elayne, and Rand. Meanwhile, Alli could bond with John, Gwynneth, and Sam.  

Spreading your Bonds around allow you to create a daisy chain effect where no one gets left out.

Diagram of Totem Compass bonding spread
How to spread your bonds around among your friends

Can I change who I Bond the Totem Compass with? 

You can absolutely change who you Bond your Totem Compass with. The magic of the Totem Compass is that they’re designed to bond with both old and new friends. If you meet someone new at a music festival or live event, it’s very simple to change your Bonds around. 

The Totem Compass is not hard-paired, meaning you can change your Bonds at any time. All you have to do is double-tap the Touch Crystal and it will take you into Tribe Management Mode. You can then add or remove friends as much and as often as you want. 

How do I change who I Bond with on the Totem Compass? 

The process of modifying your Bonds with the Totem Compass is called Tribe Management Mode. To enter Tribe Management Mode, all you need to do is double-tap the Touch Crystal at the center of the Totem Compass. 

Here’s how to navigate Tribe Management Mode: 

  • To cycle through the friends you are currently Bonded with, single-tap the Touch Crystal and the light corresponding to each friend will start blinking
  • To remove a peer, press and hold the Touch Crystal

Once you press and hold the Touch Crystal to remove a peer, you will automatically enter “Bonding mode,” and can immediately Bond with a peer that is nearby. Once you Bond with a new friend, this new bond will replace the peer that you have deleted. 

 If no compass is within Bonding distance or in Bonding mode, your former peer will simply be deleted. 

Totem Compass diagram: how to change bonds
How to change who you are Bonded with on the Totem Compass

The Totem Compass: A Tool for Connection

Our technology is designed to connect you to your loved ones—both new and old. 

The Totem Compass was created because we believe that the most beautiful moments happen alongside the people we love. And no one—regardless of race, creed, or upbringing—deserves to feel lost and afraid. 

Although the Bonds within the Totem Compass aren't designed to last forever, they represent the forging of relationships that  last a lifetime. 


Totem Labs team with Totem Tribe
The Totem Team with a member of the Totem Tribe

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