GO. Did you go? I said “go…”
The April 2011 issue of Live Design magazine contains a fascinating article by Fitz Patton about using motion sensors to trigger sound cues in theaters. Patton points out the very real issue of visual latency in cue-calling (especially in large halls), which is compounded by the inevitable lag time –caused by neurological latency– between when the stage manager gives the cue and the operator hits “go.” He then describes a scenario in which a sound cue needs to sync up with an actor leaping from an orchestra box to the stage, and how the use of motion sensors under the stage enable precise triggering of the desired impact sound.
I don’t know that any of the theatre companies I’m currently working with would be able to afford this kind of setup, but it’s still pretty flippin’ awesome. Check out the Live Design website for some of the results of their human-reaction time research.