A number of recent articles have reported on how an athlete’s performance data can now be collected by cameras and software (e.g. the National Basketball Association’s SportVU system) or through wearable technology or sensors that send information from an athlete’s body to receivers that record the data. A lot can be learned from such personalized information. Sports teams alone can use the knowledge to improve training schedules, design the most successful game plans, and make sensible financial decisions based on performance. Likewise, the collection of personalized performance data can revolutionize how sports are broadcast. In fact, it already is.
A recent Silicon Valley Business Journal article—“The quantified All-Star: How wearable tech is changing the way pro sports are played, paid for and watched”—discusses this rising trend and how Guitammer, an Ohio-based company, is looking to flourish in this new era of broadcasting. Guitammer is currently developing a promising partnership with the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks and Comcast SportsNet. Once the partnership terms are set, Comcast SportsNet is expected to use Guitammer’s patented, tactile broadcast technology to air Sharks’ games in “4-D.” Guitammer’s system works by sending out perceptible information to viewers at home, allowing them to “feel” the action when, for example, one hockey player slams another into the boards.
Imagine the possibilities. Imagine you had the ability to view and experience a live hockey game from your favorite player’s point of view thanks to a chip in that player’s shoulder pad. People would pay for that kind of privilege and virtual experience. In fact, they already do. Verizon Communications provides a comparable experience with the INDYCAR 14 mobile app, which offers subscribers the choice of viewing various in-car cameras, hearing live driver-pit crew chatter, and peeking behind the scenes during live professional car races. Last fall, Guitammer’s tactile technology was also used to enable the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races on ESPN2.
Comcast SportsNet would be an excellent partner for Guitammer at this launching-off point. Owned and operated by Comcast Corporation, which also owns NBCUniversal, Comcast SportsNet comprises several regional sports networks with widespread presence throughout the U.S. The group covers various live sporting events from Major League Baseball to NCAA sports. NBC also shows NFL games and broadcasts the NHL nationally. A partnership with Comcast would offer Guitammer the promise of additional growth opportunities in the future.
Guitammer began developing its broadcast technology in 2007. The technology, which is designed to encode live broadcasts with haptic-tactile signals, has potential benefits that could apply to the entire broadcast network. It also speaks to the possibility of tactile broadcasts as the next step after UltraHD. Consequently, Guitammer’s management has been very active in pioneering the standards for tactile broadcast technologies in order to avoid having the type of conflict HDD had with BluRay or VHS with Beta with competing technologies and, ultimately, to avoid confusing the market.
Guitammer intends to commercialize its broadcast technology using a recurring revenue model that is favorable to satellite, cable, and FiOS broadcasters as well as content creators, distributors, and end users, no matter what brand of haptic-tactile hardware they use. Guitammer also sees another revenue opportunity in the future; it could license its “ButtKicker” brand of haptic-tactile home hardware technology to hardware manufacturers interested in taking advantage of enhanced broadcasts.
For more information, visit www.guitammer.com
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