Sacramento Kings: Google Glass Usage More Than Publicity Stunt

By Karim Akbar
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen the Jetsons cartoons with the whizzing cars and snippy robots come full circle. First it was the wearable wristwatch smartphone with the Galaxy Gear. Technology just seems to work better when it’s combined with sports. However, in this age where technology is released, topped and replaced by something else every five minutes, we haven’t seen any advancements in the sports world. That all changes Friday.

When Vivek Ranadive bought this team, he promised to make it the most technologically savvy franchise in the NBA. Ranadive and his company Tibco Software created a Sacramento Kings app and just a week ago, the team announced that they would be the first to accept Bitcoin currency as payment for tickets and merchandise from the team store. On the same note, their use of Google Glass is more than a publicity stunt.

The Kings announced they will equip their mascot ‘Slamson’, cheerleaders, PA announcer and various players with Google Glass. The team will livestream the various footage  for tonight’s game at Sleep Train Arena against the Indiana Pacers, and will show footage via the arena jumbotron during the game.

The footage will be used before the game and during warmups with coverage switching to other feeds during the game. The Kings worked with CrowdOptic to refine the technology, which was given a test run on Jan.12.

Google Glass is being hailed as the second coming of basketball — and technological — innovations. The glasses can also be set to measure a player’s energy levels, curate statistics in real-time and even record video without having to be prompted. While it’s too early to tell whether the gimmick will hold, it does have significant use to coaches who would likely benefit the most from the added information in real-time.

Will there be a benefit to the fans? Find out for yourself when the team ‘goes glass’ on Friday night.

Karim Akbar is a Sacramento Kings columnist for Rant Sports  For More Sacramento Kings News “Like” his page on Facebook Follow him on Twitter @Kuhreem  Or add him to your network on Google+.

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