The Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos operate in a sellout environment at every home game. The Broncos management, led by General Manager John Elway, continually looks for new ways to leverage the status and exciting environment of Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Specifically, the Broncos were interested in providing fans in the stadium’s luxury suites with a more personalized view of the action on the field, through high-performance Sony Cameras located around the field. The Broncos partnered with Sony and CrowdOptic, who have created a technology that allows fans at live sporting events to enjoy a whole new dimension of the game using Sony SmartEyeglass. The fans can watch the action and broadcast the feed of Sony cameras aligned with the fan’s line of site directly to a flat screen monitor in the luxury suite. This capability gives fans a ‘visual remote’ that allows them to control what content is viewed in the suite simply by looking at the action.
Using CrowdOptic’s focal clustering technology, spectators wearing SmartEyeglass can also retrieve a variety of real-time statistical information about the players and the event as they watch the action.
In partnering with Sony and CrowdOptic, the Denver Broncos had three main goals:
- To enhance the live, in-venue experience for fans, by giving fans access to real-time information about the athletes simply by looking at the field, and by giving fans a way to upload and share photos enhanced with this information;
- To gather and record analytical data on crowd behavior, such as which events and highlights during the tournament were the most viewed; and
- To monetize a new communications platform by broadcasting special offers to in-stadium fans on their phones.
The CrowdOptic solution for Sony SmartEyeglass
On January 24, 2016 at the AFC Championship Game, the Denver Broncos tested a
Sony SmartEyeglass application from CrowdOptic. Spectators wearing SmartEyeglass were able to direct high-performance Sony cameras placed around the field to display the camera output directly to the suite according to what that spectator was viewing. Furthermore, information on the common point of interest between the line of site and a camera positioned in the same line of sight was displayed through augmented reality on SmartEyeglass. Fans could literally use their line of sight as a remote control for displaying Sony camera views in the suite. The 2016 AFC Championship Game became the first sporting event to utilize next-generation “augmented reality” SmartEyeglass technology that allowed fans to use CrowdOptic’s cluster technology to select game views.
Very minimal integration with the Broncos IT and even producers was required for this test. CrowdOptic deployed a stand-alone architecture that was up and running within just hours. John Elway, General Manager of the Denver Broncos, said “CrowdOptic was an exceptional partner for the Denver Broncos. This was a superb debut for brand new technology and is a major step to providing fans with a more personalized ability to select content for their suites, thus enhancing the overall live event experience.”
- Fans using the Sony-CrowdOptic visual remote could direct Sony cameras positioned around the stadium to broadcast the view directly into the suite—simply by looking around the stadium.
- Fans wearing the visual remote provided the Broncos and its sponsors with insight into what they viewed throughout the stadium. CrowdOptic technology tracked where a fan was looking by leveraging SmartEyeglass’ existing sensor information.
- The Broncos can use this information to improve camera placement, providing new perspectives of the game based on fans’ visual interest.
- The Broncos can further use the information on its fans visual interest to understand the drivers of event success, and respond in real time with appropriate messages—e.g. promoting ticket sales at the key moments when the fans are most tuned in.