Monday, March 2, 2009

CyLab Mobility Research Center's YINZCAM Offers Sports Franchises a Powerful Edge to Off-Set the Impact of Hard Times

Pittsburgh’s tech-savvy Penguins are on the cutting edge with a one-of-a-kind fan experience that takes you right to the heart of the action—the Yinz Cam. Pop City, 3-2-09

CyLab Mobility Research Center's YINZCAM Offers Sports Franchises a Powerful Edge to Off-Set the Impact of Hard Times

With economic hardship pressing in from every side, many of us need the great distraction of sporting events more than ever before. Getting your mind off layoffs and stock market losses is a little easier when you can throw yourself into the thrills and chills of your beloved team's hot pursuit of participation in the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Championships or the Stanley Cup.

But economic hardship also means even the most die-hard fans are tempted to simply stay at home, and lose themselves in their big screen TVs (while they still have them). It is, after all, much more expensive to go to the game.

Whether to watch the game at home or at the stadium is always a tough choice, even when the economy is booming and the extra cost isn't an issue. There are trade-offs.

At the stadium, you are inside the roaring of the crowd, you are not just viewing the drama, you are engulfed in it, and yes, it is always possible that you will actually be present for some historic moment.

On the other hand, at home, you can not only save money, you can put Cayenne or Spirulina all over your own big bowl of popcorn, you can control the heat, and you can stretch out on your own sofa. But arguably, for the most fanatical of sports fans, the deciding factor in choosing to stay at home is the ability to study replays, get multiple camera angles and hear the play by play analysis.

Well, CyLab Mobility Research Center Co-Director Priya Narasimhan and her team have developed a technology that gives sports franchises a powerful edge to counteract the impact of hard times, by removing this most persuasive argument for staying at home.

YINZCAM empowers the fan in the stadium. It gives fans the capability to design their own personalized multi-media experience of the game, live, via wi-fi from inside the arena:

Simply bring your IPod Touch, your IPhone, your Blackberry Bold to the next Penguins home game. Get on the wifi network inside the Arena and you can then catch real-time action replays, rewind a live camera feed yourself (creating your own action replay) on your wifi device ... Techburg, 2-27-09

Fans using Yinzcam can "check live scores from [NHL] games and even choose camera angles, to focus on one section of the ice or on certain players." The service also is "designed to allow ticket-holders to view the nearest concession stand or restroom line from their seats, so they can better time their trips." Street and Smith's Sports Business Daily, 10-24-08

YinzCam is currently under pilot with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena.

Follow YinzCam on to get game-time updates, e.g., info about special camera angles for that game, promotional giveaways, etc.

To follow the progress of YINZCAM on Facebook, click here.

For directions on how to try out YinzCam at a Penguins home game, click here.

Hopefully, though, you will soon be able to benefit from YINZCAM at other venues throughout professional sports.