In the realm of live events, delivering synchronized audio to large audiences has always posed significant challenges. However, Cinewav is changing the way we experience audio-visual spectacles on the big screen. By downloading locally played audio files that sync seamlessly with the main visuals, Cinewav ensures viewers can listen in perfect harmony while minimizing data and battery usage.

In this exclusive interview, Christian Lee, the co-founder of Cinewav, shares insights into the technology’s inner workings, its impact on event spaces, and its potential for reshaping the live events, sports, and broadcast sectors.

Founders of Cinewav, Christian Lee (on the left) and Jason Chan

Can you explain in more detail how Cinewav’s technology works to deliver synchronized audio to users’ mobile phones while watching visuals on a big public screen?

We don’t stream audio as this always has major challenges with synchronization. The app downloads an audio file to be played locally and is synchronized with the laptop playing the main visuals using the cloud. There’s a lot of maths to deal with the various delays in signals travelling through the cloud. It wasn’t an easy process! This way Cinewav allows users to listen in sync with minimal data and battery use.

What were some of the challenges you faced in implementing the live broadcast function in Cinewav, and how did you overcome them?

Broadcast is always challenging since we have to deal with latency, but we have got that consistent across all phones. We were also able to sync the visuals back to the audio – let’s say for a live sports broadcast.

Could you share some examples of how Cinewav has been used in live events to enhance the viewer experience and engage audiences at scale?

At the Lights On opening ceremony of Vivid Sydney 2023 Cineav was used with live performances and the opening speech. Anyone not located in the VIP audience could also tune in and listen. There was a record crowds surrounding the stage area that had access to the live audio.

Cinewav has been used at the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF2023) for the live stage show before each of the 8 competitors’ fireworks displays. Hotel rooftops overlooking the mainstage could listen in to the live show scheduled prior to the fireworks using just a phone plugged into their speaker system.

How does Cinewav’s technology contribute to reducing noise pollution in event spaces and enabling the use of novel event spaces?

Once you can deliver audio via smartphones you can activate any space. We have many companies calling us to help activate rooftops, spaces between buildings and inner city areas because we solve their noise pollution problem. Not only that, Cinewav solves the audio issue for users – event organisers sometimes forget that the audio experience is less than ideal when using speaker systems in any space that hasn’t been specifically designed for good acoustics. We’ve been quite surprised by the number of comments from audiences at our screenings telling us how the audio was the best audio they’ve ever experienced at a movie screening.

Can you elaborate on the benefits for event producers and designers in terms of unlocking creativity and imagination by using Cinewav’s platform?

Cinewav allows you to add high-quality personalised audio to any large scale display. Clarity of audio is so important for any show. Imagine trying to watch a movie without good audio – now with clear audio event companies can use any space to create immersive experiences, can have multiple experiences happening at the same time, can use multiple languages simultaneously and can tell longer form stories at scale. With just visuals, you’re usually limited to spectacle. Now with visuals synced to audio, creators can tell stories that engage and inspire audiences.

In what ways does Cinewav help event holders monetize audio-visual events in open public spaces, and how does it serve as a low-cost solution for this purpose?

Cinewav is also a ticketing platform where you can charge for an audio ticket. This allows event organisers to charge for public art displays without having to cordon off an area or even scan for tickets since if you don’t have the audio file you don’t really get the full show. We are also capturing data of all users which is really valuable for brands and sponsors.

What measures does Cinewav take to ensure the security and protection of the blockbuster and classic films in its library that are protected by Hollywood-grade encryption?

We use Hollywood-grade encryption for any film in our library.

Can you discuss the scalability of Cinewav’s platform and how it can handle large numbers of users during major live events?

Cinewav is incredibly scalable. Theoretically, it is unlimited. We’ve tested individual events to 100,000 simultaneous Cinewav users.

How does Cinewav’s contactless event ticketing platform work, and what advantages does it offer to event holders?

Events can be purchased on the Cinewav app and there is a scanner app as well but usually we don’t need to scan users’ tickets as only one account can use the audio file at a time. So, as long as they are using the audio function of Cinewav we know they have a legitimate ticket. No two users can use the same ticket. This really saves on barriers, security and event scanning stations which is a huge manpower issue.
10. What are your plans for expanding Cinewav’s presence in the live events, sports, and broadcast sector? Are there any upcoming projects or partnerships you can share with us?
We think there’s huge potential to use Cinewav for live sports – especially to deliver audio commentary while you’re at a stadium. Imagine getting the sort of experience you would get on TV broadcast but at the live event!

We look forward to partnering with sports events to bring this sort of functionality to fans!

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