The new Crowd Mics app patches smartphones through to a venue's PA system, allowing participants at conventions, meetings or events to use their smartphones as microphones to ask questions, etc.
Forget setting up mics in and around the audience. And out with the game of 'pass the mic' for those who go wireless. From now on, every participant can have access to their own personal 'microphone' for asking questions or providing feedback. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
The way it works is the presenter plugs in his or her smartphone to the PA system in the venue and creates a name and access code for the event in the app. Members of the audience download the app and log in using the event code. If they want to comment or ask a question, they tap their phones. The presenter then gets a rundown of those who want to speak and can begin moderating discussion at will. The presenter lets someone speak individually, turns down the mic or puts the system in 'open mic' mode. This last mode allows everyone to comment freely. Audience members can also send text messages to the presenter. Lastly, Crowd Mics lets you set up polls as well.
The presenter and the guests in the venue all connect through the same wireless router. This can be done via the WiFi network or a separate router. An Internet connection is not necessary, given that the router is only used for transmitting data back and forth over a local network. Crowd Mics is free for everyone in the audience. The event organiser, presenter or the location where the event is held pays for access to the system. The price depends on the size of the audience. You can use it for free for up to twenty people or pay $25 for up to fifty.