The Infosys Labs research blog tracks trends in technology with a focus on applied research in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

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Sports and Technology

Technology has made its way into aspect of our life. It has changed the way we work, travel and live. During this apparent transformation sports, an aspect of our lives enjoyed by all has been leveraging technology to enhance their performance and reach out to their loyal fans.

The introduction of television into our lives was a game changer for sports. TV's enables viewers to watch the game from the comfort of their homes and follow their favorite teams no matter where they played. It also enabled fans to access and learn the various sports played around the world. Whether it was sports like soccer or F1, television increased their fan base like no other technology had ever before. New revenue streams were created for the sports teams and associations through the sale of broadcasting rights.

Many sports have also embraced technologies for providing replays, to review umpire decisions and such predict the direction of the ball. The Hawk-Eye system used to predict the direction of the ball has already been embraced by various sports such as tennis and cricket.

But, a new wave of technology is promising to revolutionize the way we enjoy our sports. Startups are designing jerseys which the fan can wear to feel the intensity of the game through haptic feedback which is generated by the adrenaline and excitement of their favorite NFL team. The technology brings the feel of a stadium to fans watching the game from home. Another such application used the NFL is Be the Player, the application allows fans to watch the game from the point of view of their favorite player without having the player wear a camera.

Sports Associations are revolutionizing fan engagement by leveraging social media sites and virtual games. Fans can now get personalized feed of the NFL games enabling fans to select players they want to follow and watch off the field clips of the team in the locker room and post win parties. The NBA is engaging fans on the internet by counting votes through social media, google, etc. to select players for the All-Stars game. They even have a chatbot which can show clips of players or matches based on requests from fans.

Virtual reality is another aspect being embraced by technology. Games are now being telecast for fans to watch through VR in order to provide a more immersive experience for remotely viewing fans.

The emergence of new technology and the demand for higher levels of engagement from fans are forcing sports teams and associations to search and identify new channels of engagement. With the rapid rate of adoption of technology, it won't be long before we will be able to immerse ourselves in the excitement of the game and be closer to our favorite players than ever before.


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