FORA.tv, in partnership with Ustream, will live stream the final presidential debate tonight starting at 6 pm (Pacific), and it will be a live stream the likes of which have rarely been seen before.
Using technology from CrowdOptic, a maker of crowd-powered mobile applications, FORA.tv will track the immediate reaction and interest of the in-person audience at the debate.
Here’s how it works: CrowdOptic calculates, tags and analyzes where individuals in the audience are looking through their smartphones (their focus) and then displays the resulting photos and videos in a real-time activity stream. If you visit the live stream right now, on the right-hand side of the web page under “EYEWITNESS COMMENTARY,” you can see what the audience (which is currently sequestered for tonight’s event) is already seeing before the event kicks off.
Once the lights go low and the debate begins, CrowdOptic will keep track of those who point their smartphones at Obama vs. Romney, giving the web audience an inside look at how the candidates are doing. Even better, FORA.tv’s users will be able to weigh in and spark dialogue directly with the live audience members.