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Remote cheering app to provide fan noise in empty stadiums

Remote cheering app to provide fan noise in empty stadiums
June 1, 2020

With major sports leagues around the world recommencing, Yamaha has made use of its audio expertise to develop a system for fans to create artificial noise using their smartphones.

With competitions being staged in largely empty venues, the Remote Cheerer system, powered by SoundUD, developed by the Japanese firm Yamaha, allows fans following the match on TV, the radio or online to encourage - or crticise - players via their smartphones, their voices reverberating around the stadium in realtime via loudspeakers.

In a recent field test, users in multiple remote locations chose from a range of on-screen options that sent their cheers, applause, chants and boos into Shizuoka’s 50,000-seat Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa via 58 speakers set up among the empty seats.

Introducing the app, Yamaha advised in a statement “users were able to gain a sense of being present at the venue, even though it’s a massive stadium,” adding that the system “demonstrated the ability to create a spectator atmosphere similar to that of a real match.”

Yamaha said it would improve the app, developed with help from J-League clubs Jubilo Iwata and Shimizu S-Pulse, so that it can be adapted for use at a range of sports and other events held behind closed doors or with limited numbers of spectators.

Hiromi Yanagihara, Jubilo’s Business Strategy executive, advised “with the possibility of spectatorless matches and restrictions on cheering in mind, I feel that this system will encourage players on the field by making them feel like their fans and supporters are nearby.

“This technology is revolutionary for fans and supporters as well, as it allows them to root for their club’s players. Our club looks forward to further collaboration in order to be able to implement the system at future events.”

Those involved in the field test practiced proper social distancing, wore masks, washed their hands often, and disinfected all equipment thoroughly. In addition to the above infection prevention measures, testing was conducted by as few staff as possible from organizations located in Shizuoka only to minimise travel between prefectures.

Yamaha will continue development and promotion of the system in order to contribute to creating an environment in which people can maximise their enjoyment while remaining safe during sporting events.

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