Can technology be worn and adorned? We focus the spotlight on wearable technology doing the rounds in the media industry
By Anisha Gakhar
Who would have thought, that perhaps there will come a day, when we would be able to wear innovation. Wearable technology has alighted and is dramatically changing the way the world absorbs news. Wearable journalism is quintessential for swift updates, until viewers get their hand on the full story. From clothing to contact lenses, wearable journalism helps present the opportunity to deliver content in trimmed-down and compressed formats, without having to lose the essence of the news or information.
JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
According to Stratista, 2.08 billion people have smartphones, which is a figure that is predicted to increase to 2.69 billion by 2019. Wearables offer lucrative potential for media companies looking to amplify their brand’s engagement with their audiences. The devices that have been introduced, can gather robust customer data – including location, behaviour and activity levels, which can be used to deliver personalised content and news. This is expecially ideal in cases of news gathering and sports measurements. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; many futuristic companies are leveraging this innovation to do more than purely gather data. For instance, Nike used data garnered from individuals using their running app, to create 100,000 personalised one-minute film animations, entitled ‘Your Year with Nike+’. The content was shaped using location, weather and movement data. On similar lines, the Apple Watch enables accessing the latest headlines as easy as reading the time.
PLAYER TRACKING TECHNOLOGY
Wearable technology largely finds its application in the fields of sports data collection, and player tracking technology. In the competitive world of sport, it’s this consistency, reliability and quality of data that ultimately counts. Yet how that data is gathered, both the means and methods, is the critical question.Today, wearables are proving to be derivers of accurate, consistent and reliable sports performance data. Coaches and sports scientists peruse this data to make strategise on how to improve their athlete’s fitness level, reduce injuries, make tactical decisions, and ultimately improve their chances of success.
For example, ChyronHego has measured sports performance for over 50 years, continuing to push the sports data envelope using wearable technology as well. Their TRACAB Optical Player Tracking solution is widely deployed, for sports tracking. Their ZXY Wearable Tracking solution is a positioning system, independently verified, on the market. ChyronHego makes significant investments in research and development, which is designed to help their customers reveal the DNA of their sports data. It offers two Player Tracking solutions, Optical and Wearable, comprised of three different categories of data collection methods – Optical, GPS, and RF. It offers data collection in a manner that enables a common, sharable dataset across their customers’ sports tracking ecosystem.
Regardless of how the data is collected: Optical, GPS, or RF, it is visualised and outputted in the same format. All three platforms should ideally be homogenised within a performance data ecosystem, sharing the common thread of being able to deliver data live, as in the case of Chyrenhego.
Another key aspect is having the data analysed and presented to a team post-match through a single web-based portal. This enables an easy start-to-end time duration, thus, bettering throughput.
The technology however, is two-fold. It can either be used to help consumers consume content, and or help create content in exciting ways. According to thedrum.com, The Guardian is exploring ways in which to use wearable technology as a news gathering tool and audience consumption platform. Guardian was exploring a variety of ways in which news could be consumed on different wearable devices such as smart-watches and Google Glass, but was also considering how wearables could be used to create news as well as consume it.
One can imagine a plethora of use cases for wearables, including conducting a face-face interview without having to hold a camera physically, or deploying a cameraman. This in turn, reduces both, equipment and personnel costs. Whilst reporting in close quarters, or in cases which involve a certain degree of movement, wearable technology stimulates an easy, synchronised production environment, saving quite an amount of physical effort.
Until recently, teams and leagues had been the primary customers and stakeholders of ChyronHego tracking solutions. Today, that constituency has grown reasonably. It has moved beyond the benefits of game tactical analysis and player performance – to include broadcast rights holders, referees, stadium-owners, sports betting, and OTT providers. These groups are the new beneficiaries of sports data evolution, and it will indeed be very interesting to catch sight of what comes next, in this fast evolving market.