Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 23, 2016

Meet Your New Referee,They Are NOT On The Field!

As both a Tech and Sports Geek, I took notice of an article in a recent Sports Illustrated magazine that discussed how integral that replays have become in football and basketball (as well as baseball and who can forget Mac-Cam? for tennis lines calls?) to determine if the Referee’s “got it right” or not. The article (which I listed the link below) references how a college alum convinced Mark Cuban (who leads the NBA in fines year after year for arguing with Refs) to spend $5M to help build a Sports Media and Technology center in Cuban’s name, which has led to about 30 5K/3D cameras being placed around the basketball court and soon football stadium at IU. Why you ask would be the need to install of this equipment at arenas, ballparks and stadiums, it is simply to “get it right”!

Fast forward from just a few years ago where instant replay was in its infancy and now can have a referee or “Eye in the Sky” (usually someone at league HQ) look at multiple replays to determine if the call was correct or needs to be overturned. Now taking it a step further a company called FreeD along with Intel are partnering with other companies to utilize a 360 degree view of the action so you can rotate all of the different views combine into a single view by rotating your screen. The improvements in the technology are also speeding along how fast it takes to create these shots, originally started at 20 minutes and now it is down to 2 minutes and likely down to just seconds in the very near future.

This obviously requires an enormous amount of technology infrastructure including large storage area networks to capture about 30 cameras shooting 5K images during a 3 hour event, so Cuban’s initial investment will be a spit in the bucket compared to what this will eventually cost sports leagues, content providers and programmers. We as sports fans and consumers however continue to demand that the leagues “get it right” so if there is a way to not only insure that the game is being officiated correctly as well as our Daily Fantasy Stats are accurate and the right teams advance and play in their respective championships, I say that we are all in favor “right”?

Somehow I think that we should nominate Mark Cuban and John McEnroe to be co-commissioners of this new entity called “Get It Right 360” and also include in memorial Earl Weaver, Leo “The Lip” Durocher, Lou Pinella and all those other grizzled managers who baited umpires and referees with their tongues and threw bases farther than anyone has done before.

Listed below are links to the Sports Illustrated article plus another link to videos created by FreeD to give you an idea of where your next referee/umpire/linesman may be seated!

Replay Revolution: How to remove human error from officiating

Improving replay technology could change the way sports are officiated

See FreeD in action:



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