Victor Oladipo’s use of Google Glass during the NBA Draft created a great deal of buzz, especially when he couldn’t wear the unlicensed product on to the stage when his name was called. Still, the stylish looking glasses provided some unique perspective as the former Indiana star milled about the Green Room at Barclays Center. It is all about perspective…not really his perspective but the unique visual perspective and access fans and media can get when seeing an event through an athletes or entertainers eyes.
That point of view look continues to expand in spots both in and away from mainstream sports. We have seen Bethanie Mattek use the Google Glasses to practice at Wimbledon, and this week Vikings punter Bethanie Mattek donned a pair to show fans what it is like to practice kicking. However even without the expensive specs, other shave looked to micro cameras to give fans another unique look. Also in Vikings camp, Adrian Peterson went with helmet cam this week, showing fans what it is like to be in the Vikes backfield during a few plays, and Wednesday night Major League Soccer tested referee cam with Hilario Grajeda, fresh on the heels of WNBA ref Lamont Simpson trying a similar POV in a game last month between the Phoenix Mercury and the Indiana Fever .
What does all this mean? For sure it’s extra content for the viewer, and content that lends very well not just to a broadcast but to a second screen experience, for the growing number of fans looking for just a little but more when they tune in. more importantly it become more sponsorable real estate for teams and league to sell, whether it is on a specific shot that makes it to broadcast or whether it is part of a digital play or whether a particular POV shot can even incorporate virtual ads into what the consumer sees. As glass cameras become more portable and less of an encumbrance, and as more tests show no ill effects on game performance, the POV shots will become more commonplace, much like mounted microcameras are today in broadcast around the field.
However the even more interesting aspect in fan immersion will come not as much from the view, but from elements like data that can be added into the POV camera…what is the PSI or heartbeat rating of a player when he takes a hit…is there a way to translate the vibration of impact into a viewing experience. While 3D TV didn’t really work for sport broadcast, a 3 or even 4D experience for the viewer may still be a worthwhile experience in the offing down the road, where fans cannot just see the POV of a hit into the board, but they can feel a bit what the power of such a hot would be like in a vibration sensor. All of which is sponsorable, trackable and a nice add on, maybe even through micro payments to fans both at home and maybe even in arena.
Technology continues to amaze and enhance, and the buzz of Google Glasses today is just the next step in the experience, as broadcasters, teams and properties literally feel their way along to the next way to engage the fan and identify new streams of business, just watch and see.