University of Illinois Delivers Interactive Experiences at Live Events Across US Leveraging Cradlepoint Wireless 'Pop-up' Branch Networks

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Interactive audience system combines mobile and augmented reality technology and pop-up Cradlepoint 4G LTE and Wi-Fi network to deliver immersive theater experiences

Cradlepoint, the global leader in cloud-delivered 4G and 5G wireless network edge solutions, today announced the University of Illinois has deployed its wireless branch network solutions to provide instant connectivity at live theater venues across the U.S. By working with Cradlepoint, the university ensures audiences enjoy a reliable, responsive and interactive experience regardless of a venue’s network infrastructure.

The University of Illinois’ Laboratory for Audience Interactive Technologies (LAIT) developed an innovative mobile application and system that enables event producers to send content to audience members’ phones on cue, and in real-time. The app fosters new levels of interactivity with audiences. For instance, at various times audience members receive alerts asking them to come on stage. The system, which has augmented reality capabilities, also connects to lighting and music controls.

“People have a special relationship with their phones. It’s almost become a part of them,” said John Toenjes, director of University of Illinois’ LAIT program. “It’s another communication tool; it’s almost as if they become a part of the show through that device in a much deeper way.”

The performance requires instant and reliable connectivity within the venue, along with access to the cloud for an uninterrupted audience experience. Previously, establishing connectivity proved problematic due to the widely varying network architectures at each event venue. LAIT needed its own “pop-up” network solution that deploys quickly and easily for mobile app users in the audience to connect to cloud-based elements of the interactive audience system over a 4G LTE connection.

“A lot of venues don’t have the network infrastructure we need to accommodate the app,” said Toenjes. “When we perform in places that don’t have Wi-Fi or the necessary infrastructure, we have the flexibility to just ‘plug and play’ with Cradlepoint.”

LAIT chose Cradlepoint and its NetCloud solution for branch networks and AER Series routers. The cloud-managed, all-in-one solution integrates 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity to deploy a reliable wireless network instantly at any venue and prevent network problems that can interrupt a show. The audience simply connects their phones to the Cradlepoint Wi-Fi, and they become immersed in a glitch-free, interactive experience.

The value of LAIT bringing its own pop-up network to events goes beyond ensuring a superior audience experience by collecting a wealth of data and insights to improve future performances.

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About Cradlepoint

Cradlepoint is the global leader in cloud-delivered wireless edge solutions for branch, mobile, and IoT networks. Cradlepoint’s Elastic Edge™ vision—powered by NetCloud services—provides a blueprint for agile, pervasive and software-driven wireless WANs that leverage 4G and 5G services to connect people, places and things everywhere with reliability, security, and control. More than 20,000 enterprise and government organizations around the world, including 75 percent of the world’s top retailers, 50 percent of the Fortune 100, and first responders in 10 of the largest U.S. cities, rely on Cradlepoint to keep critical branches, points of commerce, field forces, vehicles, and IoT devices always connected and protected. Major service providers use Cradlepoint wireless solutions as the foundation for innovative managed network services. Founded in 2006, Cradlepoint is a privately held company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, with a development center in Silicon Valley and international offices in the UK and Australia.

Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @cradlepoint.

About University of Illinois                         

The University of Illinois, located at Urbana- Champaign, was founded in 1867 and is home to nearly 45,000 students. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked U of I the 11th-best public university in the country.

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Emily Gallagher
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