Almost two months ago I was privileged to see the introduction of a new iOS application that I think could change the way fans watch and enjoy a live sporting or performance event. In Atlanta, imagine using this at a packed Georgia Dome, during the playoffs at Turner Field, or a concert at Chastain.
By simply opening the app and pointing your phone at the action happening in front of you, statistics, facts, advertisements and updated results would flash on the screen before your eyes.
We use our smartphones for everything else, why not use it to enjoy a live sporting event or concert.
CrowdOptic, a San Francisco based maker of crowd-driven mobile solutions is making this possible and more.
The “more” I’m talking about is what CrowdOptic is announcing today, and it’s what made what I saw back in July possible. CrowdOptic Analytics, an advanced, behind-the-scenes tool can be used by live event producers for monitoring their event viewing and photo-taking activities during live events. CrowdOptic Analytics analyzes and responds to real-time shifts in crowd focus and momentum in order to optimize the in-venue experience for fans, sponsors and event organizers.
A fight in the stands, a medical emergency, this can all be tracked and monitored quickly and accurately with the CrowdOptic technology.
I was abe to try the app out as a fan at the 2011 Bank of the West Classic women’s tennis tournament this summer, and it was a hit. “CrowdOptic and its augmented reality application allowed us to engage our guests in a fun and innovative way,” said Sam Henderson, Director of Media and Public Relations, IMG/Bank of the West Classic. “The application allowed us to expand the reach of our tournament messaging while also improving the guest experience at the event.”
Call it a “sixth-sense”, this one-of-a-kind technology can sense where crowds are focusing from moment to moment. The app tracks the precise paths of spectators’ phones as they view and take photos and video of the live action. CrowdOptic monitors, in real time,the GPS location and compass headings on each of the hundreds, or often thousands, of mobile phones in a crowd (using GPS to locate the phones and compass headings to determine the direction the phones are pointing) and finds the point where two bearings, taken from two different locations, intersect. This process, known as triangulation, gives the exact location where phones are pointing, and pinpoints where the action is. CrowdOptic then identifies clusters of fans in the crowd looking at the same spot at any given moment. It doesn’t matter if the action is constantly moving, such as during a sporting event it can happen when fans are taking photos of the athletes or field of play.
This app can now be used by security, first responders, and event organizers to benefit attendees. A lot can go wrong at a large event, just this summer we had the stage collapse at the Sugarland concert in Indiana and a fight in the parking lot at the 49ers and Raiders football game. I think this app could’ve helped in both instances.
This app will bring augmented reality to life for everyone involved. CrowdOptic knows where all the mobile phones in the crowd are looking as they aim their phones; It can not only transmit this insight to the enterprise, but can also display relevant content on the phones according to the action each fan is watching, all in real time. Only CrowdOptic has the ability to overlay a live camera image of an object or person in motion, such as an athlete
participating in a sporting event, with dynamic content in real time.
CrowdOptic’s augmented reality display becomes part of the photograph and can be tracked when the fans share their photos online with their social networks.
A lot to digest here and to test for the folks at CrowdOptic. It’s groundbreaking and innovative. It’s an app that can, and will benefit fans on the front-end, as well as those running the events on the back-end. Rare indeed.