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Cheering Robots Replace Real Fans at Korean Baseball

By BBC News

July 31, 2014

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The Korean baseball team the Hanwha Eagles have equipped their stadium with robots that fans who are unable to attend the games can control over the Internet. The bots can cheer, chant, and perform the Mexican wave. In addition to being able to control some robot movements, fans can upload their own face to the machine so it can be seen at the stadium.

Other technology projects designed to help more people experience sports events include Japan's proposal to re-create live matches using holographic technology in other locations as part of its unsuccessful bid for the 2022 World Cup. The proposed technology would enable several stadiums full of fans to simultaneously watch the same match, but development of the technology was halted when Japan lost the bid.

In the more immediate future, simple technology additions to stadiums and arenas are already changing how people enjoy sporting events. "Within a short amount of time, nearly every Premier League stadium will have Wi-Fi," predicts SportBusiness International editor Matt Cutler. "Everyone's got a phone with them, checking other things. The days have gone where people are completely engrossed in the match."

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