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Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Gadgets to Improve your Basketball Game


There are a couple new pieces of technology that are trying to improve your basketball game. Or at least keep track of how many shots you missed. The first, called ShotTrakcer, uses a wearable sensor and a net sensor to transmit data to an app on your smartphone. It then takes all the collected data and creates shot graphs and visual court charts to show you where on the floor you're shooting from the best. ShotTracker can be purchased online for around $150. Here's a promotional video showing some of the cool stuff this gadget can do:

There is another device that provides similar services called HoopTracker. But this gadget is different because it incorporates an interactive wrist watch that provides live updates regarding shooting stats. Like the ShotTracker, the HoopTracker will also be available for about $150 and provides a website that displays your individual shooting stats, history, and progression. I think both these technologies have great potential in the sport, not only for players but for coaches as well. Check out this video on all the benefits that HoopTracker has to offer:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Uniforms Combine Style and Technology

This past Saturday wrapped up the regular season of college football, with several teams facing their most hated rivals in style. Mississippi State was one of these schools, donning their new "Egg Bowl" jerseys against their cross state rival Ole Miss. Many schools are taking advantage of new technologies available in uniforms made by Adidas called TechFit. Adidas claims that their TechFit Shockwave technology makes it more difficult for a player to be tackled, as well allowing for the player to be faster and more flexible. Here's a closer look at the fabric of the TechFit technology:

Adidas' competitors Nike and Under Armour also feature cutting edge uniforms that offer similar benefits to the TechFit uniforms that Adidas makes. The University of Maryland has become the guinea pig for Under Armour, since their CEO Kevin Plank is a Terps grad, and their new uniforms definitely compete for some of the most unique uniforms in college football. This is similar to how Nike partners with the University of Oregon to create over 60 different individual uniforms to choose from. However the Ducks' uniforms can sometimes be a bit eccentric, as seen in the neon yellow unis below:

These new technologies in uniform design are indeed exciting and could make it more difficult to bring guys down to the ground. But as the University of Michigan found out this season, these new threads are not going to automatically turn a losing program into champions.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Teams Installing 3D Projection Systems

A company called Quince Imaging has introduced some really awesome visual effects to several arenas around the country, virtually turning any normal basketball court or ice hockey rink into a giant projection screen. But this isn't simply a projector displaying images on the court, the jaw-dropping 3D effects are created using 16 HD projectors to make a huge 3600 x 1878 viewing canvas. However this nifty piece of technology of course doesn't come without a price. Sport teams looking to install one of these 3D projection systems by Quince can expect to shell out at least $1 million, but if that means getting more fans in their seats for the start of the game it might be worth it. Quince Imaging suspects if the NBA and NHL see success with their technology, teams from the MLB and NFL could be next in line to install these cool imaging systems to their home field. Here's a look at how the Cleveland Cavaliers used the innovative technology to energize their pre-game show:


Sunday, November 16, 2014

NFL team eliminating paper tickets.

A method already frequent in the travel industry, next season the San Francisco 49ers are planning on doing away with all paper tickets to get into the new state of the art Levi's Stadium. Fans will now be required to download the team's application from their favorite smartphone app store, and wave the QR code on the screen instead of on a piece of paper. While some fans do not like the idea since the physical ticket represents memorabilia of going to an NFL game, ultimately most fans agree that the paperless option is both more eco-friendly and convenient. It will also change the way people scalp for tickets, instead allowing them to exchange tickets with other fans over the mobile app. I personally think this is a great idea and should be implemented around the NFL, but I think season ticket holders should be able to have the option to still use paper tickets.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

College Football Stadium Bucket List

Last week I had to create a customized Google Map as a class project, which required pinpointing the location of every public swimming pool in the Jacksonville, FL area. As a huge lover of maps and traveling, I thought it was such a nifty tool to take advantage of. So that inspired me to create my own custom Google Map of all the college football stadiums that my best friend and I want to visit in our lifetime. I even went as far as customizing the icons of the nine stadiums we have already visited with the logo of that particular school or post-season game. The bucket list contains college football stadiums from 33 different states, and so far we have visited stadiums in four of those states (including our home state Florida). But I thought this was a great use of technology to help with the dream of visiting the greatest college football stadiums in the country.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New technology at EverBank Field

Last weekend I had the pleasure of watching my favorite NFL team, the Miami Dolphins, play a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars team. And although I was sitting in literally the last row of the stadium, I didn't miss a moment of the action thanks to the newly installed 60 by 362 foot video boards behind both endzones. I was so intrigued by the giant monitors that I wanted to look deeper into some details regarding them. Each of these boards contain 35.5 million LED bulbs and display Ultra HD 8k video at a resolution of 7680 x 1080. The production servers powering these displays are capable of showing replays from 18 different camera feeds on a 21,700 square foot digital canvas.

While the display board was definitely impressive, I personally thought they could have better used the outer portions of the screen displaying graphical information. They only offered game stats of the home team, and seemed littered with social updates from people tweeting about their game experience. I also thought it was interesting that there were smaller video boards in the corners of the stadium showing other games around the NFL. It gave me the impression that the team on the field is not interesting enough to watch, which could entirely be the case. But overall I like that the NFL and the team's owners are trying to improve fan experience at the game. Another added technological amenity added at EverBank Field includes Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the stadium, so the fans can stay updated with their fantasy team and post to their social media pages. Check out this cool video about how these enormous jumbotrons were installed:

Google Maps Data Mapping

     The data mapping lab project required me to compile the name and location of public swimming pools in the Jacksonville, FL area. The completion of the project proved how simple it really is to create your own custom map using the free tools on Google Maps. This can be used by virtually anyone to pinpoint locations from businesses showing their numerous locations to travel goers trying to pinpoint their favorite destinations. You can even allow multiple users to edit the maps and add content to it. Here's the map I created for my class: