Digitally Enhanced Athlete and Fan Experience
Whether live in stadium or at home on the couch, the sky is the limit when it comes to how digital interactive technology can be used to enhance the sports experience for both athletes and fans. The Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center is developing the tools, expertise, and technology to deliver exciting new ways for athletes to train and for spectators to feel at the center of the action. By using personalized replays, real-time analytics, a more interactive spectating platform, and social media, a novel, augmented viewing experience is created for the spectators in front of their television and for athletes during training sessions.
The fan experience has three different components: fan education, streaming experience, and in-person experience. Fan education focuses on bringing in new fans and getting them to care about the sport, and in the long term this will hopefully increase both viewership and participation in the sport. The streaming experience is a new area that is rapidly gaining interest. When fans are not present in stadiums, how can fans connect to each other and the athletes? The answer might be reverse streaming, which brings the virtual fan back to the athlete in the venue. There is also the in-person experience, focusing on spectator flow through the venue and enriching the total experience from before the fan arrives to after they leave the stadium. RESEC researchers and affiliates are tackling all three aspects
Additionally, studying athlete performance and the actions that lead to injury provides the data necessary to improve the performance and safety features of sports equipment and facilities. RESEC researchers are developing standards for swimsuits, high performance bicycles, and basketball shoes, and are working on next generation playing surfaces, sensor integration, and equipment technology.