Ten years ago, when Will Ahmed was a student and captain of the men’s squash team at Harvard University, he became fascinated with physiology. He read hundreds of articles in medical journals and wrote a thesis on the human body. He wanted to understand why he had trouble recovering from long workouts, sustained injuries and didn’t always get a good night’s sleep.
Soon after graduating from college in 2012, Ahmed decided to take things further and figure out how to use technology to help people improve their health and fitness. And so, Ahmed founded a company called Whoop along with Aurelian Nicolae, a classmate who majored in mechanical engineering, and John Capodilupo, a computer science major who was two years younger than Ahmed and Nicolae.
An increased level of communication is one of the key factors sports franchises are utilizing to get fans back into stadiums. The development of in-venue apps helps communicate the most up-to-date information on attending an even and empowers the venue manager to heat map attendees in real time and geofence certain areas of the venue.
All of the technologies the teams are rolling out, such as mobile ticketing, chat and food ordering, have been around for some time, but what was once seen as a luxury is now a necessity. Satisfi Labs is working on a project to measure fan density in each section of the venue and help fans navigate to shorter lines when possible or through a less-crowded route to their seating area.
Media companies, sports leagues and casinos are all trying their luck at setting up new content and sportsbook ventures aimed to reap what they expect to be millions of dollars as sports betting is legalized in various U.S. states. But some of the TV outlets may be able to use the technology built around wagering and pick-to-win contests for games crafted around politics, news and entertainment – and many audiences may willingly accept it.
“There is a younger cohort of viewers out there that simply expects more interactivity and more engagement opportunities with programming than previous generations,” says Tim Hanlon, CEO of The Vertere Group, a consultancy that works with media and marketing companies.
Japan is said to be planning to expand the use of facial recognition technology at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as part of COVID-19 combatting measures.
Japanese news agency Kyodo, citing government sources, said the technology originally intended to securely identify Games personnel and the media, along with detecting suspicious activity, is being assessed for use on spectators.
It is reported that one plan is to locate security cameras equipped with the technology at Games stadia and arenas to record spectators’ faces and body surface temperatures, and determine if they are wearing masks.
The recorded data is expected to help prevent potential cluster infections, by enhancing contact tracing of those who may have been in contact with a person found to have tested positive for COVID-19.
When the 2020 MLB season began in July with empty stands, the league still managed to bring its homebound fans into the ballpark to cheer — or boo — during games.
MLB’s “Cheer at the Ballpark” feature resonated with baseball fans so much, the league has decided to incorporate it into this year’s World Series.
The league launched “Cheer at the Ballpark” ahead of Opening Day on July 23 across the MLB.com website, Gameday app and various social media links. It allows fans to engage with their team’s games by alerting scoreboard operators at ballparks about their reactions. The operators receive a live interface reflecting fans’ thoughts, enabling them to adjust the type of artificial fan noise inserted into the relatively empty stadiums.
Venuetize, a Tampa-based technology company with a specialty in streamlining sports fans' experiences, has seen a massive growth since the coronavirus pandemic and will now be featured in the National Hockey League league-wide app.
The latest news follows after a renewal with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which Venuetize has worked with the last three years.
Venuetize offerings, such as being able to order food directly to your seat and mobile tickets, are now available on the NHL app for Lightning game attendees.
As the 2020 Major League Baseball season draws to a close with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays squaring off in the World Series, nothing is business as usual. The COVID-19 pandemic has left players in testing-constrained bubbles and teams with cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands. For some, this might be a time to plod along and hope that 2021 will be better. But the Dodgers aren’t leaving their future up to hope. They’re turning to a cutting-edge technology overhaul and revamping every facet of their operations with analytics and new, data centre-driven experiences.
Over the past few years, prior to the empty stadiums we saw new engagement methods in the stadiums and on TV. The NFL’s partnership with AWS to show real-time analytics in motion is a great example that comes to mind. We’ve seen other leagues follow suit. If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that sports fans aren’t going to sit back and wait for coronavirus to end before engaging with their favorite teams. And that’s good for the four big sports leagues in the US and even soccer teams in Europe, which rely on ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise to fund their teams.
Topgolf is launching a new Angry Birds collaboration today that brings the mobile game to life in a virtual reality-like environment. Using Topgolf’s Toptracer ball-tracing technology—the same used by the PGA Tour—guests can partner with their favorite Angry Birds character to demolish virtual structures, defeat pigs and earn points and stars just like the mobile version of Angry Birds, only this time based on the velocity of the ball.
SoFi Stadium, the recently opened new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers NFL teams, is to become the first major venue in the US to implement digital twin technology through an agreement with Willow.
Willow will use big data gathered from every aspect of SoFi Stadium and the surrounding development to create a virtual copy of the stadium, delivering analytical insight to enhance the fan, resident and guest experience.
Digital twin technology converts all quantifiable aspects of physical buildings into living, learning and evolving virtual replicas. It enables venues to store, organise and access data generated by smart buildings, providing owners and facility managers with real-time insights to optimise aspects of the building’s operations.