January 6, 2014
The possibility of 360-degree sports coverage using Google Glass is expected to be a hot topic this week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. As sales of wearable technology have skyrocketed in just the past couple of years — almost 300 percent in 2012 alone — such technology’s potential is being tapped by developers and sports fans alike. The latest idea is to be able to broadcast dozens of perspectives of Google Glass wearers during the same event.
Being able to access others’ perspectives as well as instant replays with Google Glass is what Adrian Pennington writing for The Hollywood Reporter says is “one scenario among many” envisioned by media companies “excited by the prospect of cheap and inexpensive video creation, dissemination and display.”
“Using Glass, you need never miss out on a referee’s close call; you could review the incident from any number of perspectives almost instantly,” Jeff Eddings, a director with Turner Broadcasting’s Emerging Technologies Group, told THR. Eddings said the goal is that sports coverage would no longer be limited to broadcasters’ footage, but would include the viewpoint of spectators as well.
THR reports other uses of Google Glass in sports, including when tennis pro Bethanie Mattek-Sands wore the device on the practice courts at Wimbledon last year. Stanford University basketball fans also were able to watch the game from the points of view of the players wearing Glass.
Eddings told THR that his team is “actively pursuing” spectator Glass video broadcasting with companies like Switchcam.com, “a Media Camp-funded software that aggregates videos from users and stitches them into video of a single event.”
“Glass is one of a new breed of wearable technology that will figure prominently at CES,” writes Pennington. “For instance, a new area is devoted to smartwatches, which combine timekeeping with smartphone functions. Sales of wearable technology soared nearly 300 percent in 2012 to 8.3 million devices; one report predicts shipments of smartwatches alone will reach 214 million devices with revenue of more than $60 billion by 2018.”