May 27 – With all football played behind closed doors when it returns, Japan is turning to technology to generate atmosphere by developing a smartphone app that will allow fans to cheer remotely.
The J. League is expected to resume next month but with no fans in the stadiums and hence no crowd noise. Instead the Japanese have developed an app that will allows cheering and booing from the comfort of fans’ homes or other remote locations, delivering the sound straight into stadiums via loudspeakers – the closest thing to actually being there.
The app, named the Remote Cheerer, has been developed by Yamaha with help from J-League clubs Jubilo Iwata and Shimizu S-Pulse and lets fans watching matches on television make their feelings known to the players on the pitch via their smartphones.
Yamaha recently tested the system at the 50,000 capacity Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA
“At one point during the system field test, I closed my eyes and it felt like the cheering fans were right there in the stadium with me,” said Keisuke Matsubayashi, an official with the stadium company. “This system had the potential to cheer players on even in a stadium of this size.”
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