Technology Behind WWTBAM

If you are wondering what WWTBAM stands for, it is Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. WWTBAM is a television game show offering the smartest contestants a chance to be millionaire if anyone of them can answer 15 questions correctly in a row; failing which, they go home empty-handed. Each country plays it in their currency, so, contestants in the UK stand to win a million British Pounds while contestants in Malaysia stand to win a million Ringgit Malaysia; that’s equivalent to 143,000 British Pounds – puny.

If you have watched this game show before, you will notice that contestants are given a chance to ask the audience what the correct answer might be. Here you are, having a couple of hundred live audiences, all answering you at the same time. How do they collect and poll the answers? Well, I found out that there is actually a ready solution called the Audience Response System (ARS).


I never thought solutions such as ARS existed – all the while thinking that such technology is proprietary to WWTBAM. Friends, this technology is cool; too cool in fact. This is because with technology like ARS, you can now have interactive sessions with an audience. If you are one of those who frequently stand on stage, behind the podium and seeks live, real time feedback from your audience, this is the tool you will cherish.

Another instance where ARS is going to be useful is public voting. Remember how the last time you were asked to vote by raising your hands? Believe it or not, humans tend to follow majority. It’s simply psychology. Can you imagine if you were the odd one out? Everyone will be eyeballing you in no time. Can you see how ARS can help in obtaining the actual voters’ sentiments/preference? Cool tech, eh? 😉

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1 Comment »

  1. Amanda Roberts said,

    February 22, 2008 @ 7:42 am

    ARS is used in schools believe it or not, or at least the schools I have attended. While not the little a/b/c/d options that are on the Millionaire show, the ARS controllers we use are small remotes that each student points at a small sensor that logs the responses anonymously to the students and displays the responses to the teacher. Cool tech indeed.

    amos replied,
    Super cool. Thanks for sharing that bit. In schools here, teachers use laptops, projectors and occasionally the dreaded cane.

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