In some parts of the world, live sports events are slowly resuming and trying to get back to a new kind of normal. One thing that will sorely be missing for sports like football, baseball, and other spectator sports, are the spectators themselves. Fans will not be allowed to watch in the venues and the athletes will have to deal with playing in closed-door, empty, spectator-less stadiums. In Japan though, Yamaha is now testing out a Remote Cheering system that will let fans cheer on their teams from the comfort of their couches.

Football (or soccer for some) is one of those sports where the teams are energized all the more by the cheers of their fans or the boos of the fans of the opposing team. But now that they will be playing to empty stadiums probably in the next few months, this new tool is something that can be used to sort of recreate what they would hear if people were inside the venue. The Remote Cheerer powered by SoundUD was tested out in the match between two Japanese football clubs, Jubilo Iwata and Shimizu S-Pulse.

They placed 58 speaker units around the stadium and allowed users to send in their cheers, applause, chants, claps, and even boos to the stadium from the comforts of their own homes. The audience can even choose which side of the stadium they want to send their reactions to the match. All you have to do is tap the respective buttons on the app while watching the match on your TV screen of course.

This was actually the first time that they were able to test this system in an outside venue in the 50,000-seat Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa. This way they can verify that this will be a viable option for sports teams to still be able to sense the fans’ support even if here not physically there. They are going to continue to test this out and eventually try it out in other stadiums and maybe even in other sports.

This will of course not be able to totally replace the adrenaline that teams get from having people cheer them on while playing a match. But it would still be better than have to play with hearing nothing or using pipe-in music or worse, dolls that are apparently not that “wholesome” just to fill in the seats.