Tag Archives: tech

Feb 9

When the largest game of the year is hosted in California’s Bay Area, you can expect the NFL to get a little help from the locals: Silicon Valley tech giants. This year’s game, as the 50th Super Bowl, was an important anniversary worthy of showcasing the latest specs in technology. From the stadium, to the halftime performance, to the athletic gear, #SuperBowl50 did not hold back.

As it happened, the game itself wasn’t much to brag about. The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24 to 10 in a monotonous display of good defense, which though a feat for Peyton Manning did not make for exciting viewership. Luckily, there’s so much more to the Super Bowl these days than touchdowns and field goals. What lacks in the match can be made up for by the digital fan experience, both onscreen and behind the scenes. This year, boundaries were broken in both the delivery and the message of technology at its finest.

The support

The spectrum of Super Bowl 50’s technology didn’t begin and end on February 7th in San Francisco. Rather, it was many months in the making, with preparation taking up a huge portion of technological real estate, so to speak.

The Super Bowl Host Committee is largely responsible for ensuring these preparations come together smoothly in the weeks leading up to the game. This year, the committee’s CEO Keith Bruce emphasized that first and foremost, Super Bowl 50 would be all the about the tech.

“Our goal was to be the most technologically advanced Super Bowl ever,” Bruce said. “We’re at the center of the digital economy of the world, home to a lot of the stalwarts of tech, and we thought we should embrace that.”

Software and tech companies needed very little urging to get on board with this mission. Transportation came via Google’s commuter fleet and Uber on-demand, while laptops, phones and other equipment were provided by Apple. Google also helped develop the Road to 50 app, a virtual guidebook to the event, which fans could use to order food to their seats enjoy other perks.

With the help of Verizon and other providers, Levi’s stadium fully equipped with 400 miles of fiber optic cable, 1,200 wifi access points and 1,700 BlueTooth beacons to keep fans connected at all times. All in all, the committee raised $50 million from corporate sponsors to hold Super Bowl 50 to the highest of standards, worthy the sport’s 50 year mark and the region’s technology prowess.

The specs

Beyond sponsorships, the fun continues from all angles. Super Bowl 50 featured camera technology was at its finest: the EyeVision 360 displayed a 360 view of the stadium streamed from 36 cameras around the venue, while the debut of the Pylon Cam placed 16 cameras in end zones to film goal line sand sidelines, aiding officials in making tough calls. Athletic gear has advanced over the years as well — this year, players donned state of the art gear with RFID tracking in their shoulder pads.

Behind the scenes, there’s also advanced cyber security to take into account. Following terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the biggest American sporting event of the year took no chances with security — luckily, and they had the technology available to make it an utmost priority. Though FBI declined to reveal their measures in full detail, we do know that disarming robots, helicopters, military jets were on standby.

Perhaps the greatest security measure, though, was surveillance. With over 600 cameras and an advanced scanning system that aggregated threats from the ground, sky, and social media, streams of real-time data were analyzed by agents at a Joint Operations center at an undisclosed location.

The social

Social networking continues to be an enormous boon for brands and fans alike. The “second screen” experience, which allows live tweets and commentary from anyone with a device, proved successful once more: it’s is the ultimate augmentation of the Super Bowl, maximizing engagement in and out of the stadium.

Since the game wasn’t stirring up huge excitement in and of itself, we can thank our lucky stars for the halftime performance, which generated significant buzz online. Halftime shows often feature high-tech spectacles: for example, the mechanical cat ridden by Katy Perry last year, which was somehow overshadowed by the antics of Left Shark.

This year, Coldplay lead a technicolor display complete with interactive light-up LED wristbands, video walls, lasers and light-up inflatable balls. But as if proving technology for technology’s sake is bound to fall flat, it was Beyonce that stole the show with the performance of her brand-new song “Formation.” Together, Beyonce, Chris Martin and Bruno Mars evoked themes ranging from LGBT pride to African American empowerment, making the show as politically charged as it was electronically.

All in all, fans of the Broncos, Beyonce, and technology should be pleased with Super Bowl 50. And for those still unsatisfied, there are only seven more months until football season starts up again, with the power of a million screens and screams close behind.

Featured image: duluoz cats via Flickr

Oct 21


Sports and tech continue towards a mutually beneficial future. A recent CIO profile revealed how some sports organizations are furthering the bonds between sport and tech.

The partnership between the two sectors finds sports organizations bringing startups into events like pitch competitions where the clubs seek out bright potential that harnesses the sporting experience as well. By jumping on the bandwagon, these clubs are making it clear that the game embraces tech well beyond the recent uptick in analytics and sports health–a stark change in direction from the current landscape that finds most organizations lacking the adequate IT infrastructure needed to enter the next generation.

CIO noted some exciting ventures that include the Los Angeles Dodgers Accelerator program and the Cleveland Cavalier’s new CavsEats mobile app that allows fans to order food from concession stands without missing a second on the court. Both rollouts signify huge gains for both sport and tech. While the Dodgers are embracing the large-scale approach to finding its next big venture, the Cavaliers honed in on just one or two startups to begin its process.

Fans should expect to see further integration amongst the two sectors in the coming years. Just like any sporting team or startup looking to be the leader in its field, constant innovation is required. With tech now firmly entrenched in player and fan experiences, we may be seeing the dawn of a new sporting era for all parties involved.

Sep 28


San Francisco recently hosted the Wearable Tech in Sport Summit–a two-day summit aimed at providing “deep insight into how the sports industry is being shaped by wearable technology and digital fitness.” Presented by Innovation Enterprise, a global innovation enterprise across various sectors, the summit brought together leaders from the sports and fitness industries to discuss how wearables allow the individual athlete to make more informed decisions based on their fitness results.

The summit noted that this new information has made the industry evolve with this new found level of individual analysis. To provide that insight the summit brought in a who’s who of leaders across sports and fitness. Speakers included leaders from Intel, Samsung, Adidas, the USOC and the San Francisco 49ers.

The summit boasts over 150 industry leaders and over a days worth of networking opportunities. To back their findings, the summit also has over 20 case studies from “only the most innovative companies.” These studies and presentations revolved around topics from mobile fitness to sports science.

I wasn’t unable to attend the summit this year, but I am excited to hear what emerges in the coming weeks and months. As the summit noted, the landscape of these industries continue to change at a rapid pace. With sports and fitness tech both constantly upgrading and evolving, it is important to stay on the pulse of innovation, especially if you are planning on making investments. While I can’t personally endorse this year’s event, it looks to be the sort of summit the industry will continue to need in the coming years.

Did you attend this year’s summit? Let me know in the replies. I’d love to hear your takeaways.

Jun 26


The tuk-tuk, or the auto rickshaw, is a common public transportation vehicle seen across several developing nations. In recent years, the vehicle also called the auto rickshaw has crept into a growing number of major cities across the globe–mainly in Europe–as a tourist vehicle. Yet, in America the tuk-tuk has yet to catch on. Possibly sparked by the multiple transportation options already presented, Americans don’t seem too intrigued by the prospect of riding in a new vehicle, regardless of its ability to reduce traffic and energy output.

But those views may eventually change if a design of out Melbourne, Australia catches on with the world. RMIT University student Kyle Armstrong recently revealed designs for an electronic version of the tuk-tuk called the Lindo. Lindo derives from the Spanish word meaning, “a word that describes an object as either especially cute or beautiful to mean a great deal.”

Armstrong’s invention came about in a bid to redesign the rapidly growing Melbourne population and its transportation system. With the Lindo, Armstrong hopes to see a Melbourne where public transport leaves the linear confines of public transportation and instead becomes more like an Uber-based platform. By using the Lindo smartphone app, the user is able to book, pay and track their travels in an efficient manner. Armstrong’s design focuses on a carbon fiber chassis, and titanium space frame that makes it light yet strong and highly durable. In addition to the features, the Lindo also boasts lithium ion batteries that charge at a fraction of the time.

The Lindo is still a ways away from disrupting the current transportation system. However, Armstrong believes that the Lindo will eventually lead to a cleaner, safer and more efficient Melbourne. Check out the video above for a more detailed look at the Lindo.

Do you think the Lindo would work in your city?