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Monday, February 1, 2010

The Cavs Will Make You Jump, Jump

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 1:34 PM



You can't fault the Cavs for their efforts to make games more entertaining for the casual fan. Personally, I could do without half the theatrics and songs and performances and hot dog guns, but there are plenty of people who like that stuff and the Cavs have unabashedly and effectively targeted and catered to that demographic. There's a happy balance between total silence or just an organ and canons shooting Digiorno pizzas 75 feet in the air, and, for the most part, the Cavs have seemed to live in that space. Nitpick if you want, but at least give them credit for innovating and constantly trying to up the entertainment quotient.

Come April, another new in-game feature will debut.

The Cavs have partnered with Bent 360: Medialab to begin using Crowdwave during games. What's Crowdwave? Glad you asked. The Website describes it as a, "mass participation, interactive, entertainment experience, controlled by yours fans, simply moving their arms."

In practice, it allows fans to actively participate in games on the Jumbotron just by using their bodies. It's being used in Ottawa right now for the 67s, and it works by installing cameras around the arena which then pick up the movements of the fans and translate them to the videoscreen. The game in Ottawa features a goalie trying to block shots. As the shots come on the Jumbotron, the crowd moves in mass unison to the left or right to try and block them. If too many don't move, the shot goes in. You can see a video of it here.

In Cleveland — and this should be rolled out in April — the game will be a tip-off contest:

For the Cavaliers, championship contenders in the National Basketball Association, the company has created a tip-off game, where fans watch two virtual players jump for a ball that has been tossed in the air by a referee.

Fans are encouraged to jump with the virtual players. Eight cameras will monitor them, and arena sections where fans jump the highest and have the most participation will be named winners.

The winning section gets bragging rights, or possibly a prize, such as pizza slices.

“People go to a live game because they want to experience it with 20,000 people … this just adds to that experience,” said Mark Edwards, president and founder of Bent 360, saying the camera equipment would be installed in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland by April.

(Note: It's a slow news day, and, really, I'll take any opportunity I can to make a Kris Kross reference.)

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