CrowdWave helps Cleveland Cavaliers fans get in the game

The audience wave has been an enduring tradition in live sports for three decades and many believe that it first appeared at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Since the 2010 Games are in full force in Vancouver, let’s stick with that bit of history although I’m sure some of you would debate that either Krazy George or the Vancouver Whitecaps should be given credit.

Either way, a Ottawa-based startup is getting into the mix with some cool new technology that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be implementing come the playoffs. The Cavaliers plan to take crowd interaction to a new level with the debut of CrowdWave – a game system designed specifically for professional sports teams that allows 20,000+ fans to play together simply by moving their arms.

The system uses a proprietary technology that builds on camera-based vision control systems in manufacturing.  Multiple high-definition cameras aimed at fans connect to a central processor that interprets the motion of the crowd, as a whole or section by section, and uses that data to control a game played out on the scoreboard screens. The result is a game platform that turns the entire crowd into human game controllers as they work in unison or compete section versus section to play themed games during time-outs and commercial breaks.

The technology had its first installation at the Urbandale Centre in Ottawa, the 10,000 seat home of the OHL Ottawa 67’s. It will be installed at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena in March, to be operational in time for the Cavaliers’ NBA playoff run.