Sports fans could soon be able to watch games from a never-before-seen perspective – their favorite players.
San Francisco startup, CrowdOptic, wants to share this unique vantage point with fans through their mobile devices. It’s partnered with the Sacramento Kings, which has put Google glass in the hands of players.
“Say Demarcus Cousins is working on his foul shots…and I’m Interested in what he’s seeing,” Jim Kovach, the vice-president of business development at CrowdOptic, told CNET’s Sumi Das. “So [I] press a button on my Google Glass and then in my viewer, I’m seeing what he sees.”
The company is betting that in the very near future, more people in the stands will have wearable devices. That would enable its technology to uncover what it calls “nooks and crannies.”
The concept can best be explained as a viewer’s own personal, on-demand Jumbotron — allowing them to see eye-to-eye with some of the players.
The Sacramento Kings has gained a reputation for embracing new technology. On March 1, it began accepting Bitcoin virtual currency as payment for team merchandise and tickets, and is also experimenting with Oculus Rift, the virtual headset, as well as drone cams.
“Why have stationary cameras when we can have a drone operating — giving somebody a unique perspective and new perspective from any angle imaginable — and that’s part of what drones are about,” Ben Gumpert, the senior vice-president of marketing and strategy, told CNET.
CrowdOptic has partnered with other teams — including the San Jose earthquakes and Stanford basketball — but like any startup treading new terrain, it’s facing challenges.
Some of the issues the company faces include connectivity and preserving image quality — no one wants video that’s grainy, choppy or freezes mid-stream.
If they solve those problems, CrowdOptic is likely to score big with fans.