Creating a new point of view for sports with wearable tech

The Leafs-Canadiens opener this week offered a few firsts. Not only was it the first game of the 2014/2015 season, but Rogers Game Plus offered fans a unique perspective of the action via the Ref Cam. Mounted on the Referee’s helmet, the wearable Ref Cam provides a new point of view, showing candid, in-your-face shots of the game that can’t be achieved with traditional TV cameras (check out our guide for more on the best ways to enjoy hockey on mobile this season).

Wearable cameras are not a first for sports. The Orlando Magic was the third NBA team to adopt the use of Google Glass back in April of this year, joining the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers. These teams use Glass and the Crowdoptic software platform to capture new and unique perspectives of the game in real-time and then share that footage with the audience.

Of course, GoPro has been providing first person point-of-views for a while now (especially in extreme sports), and the mountable camera company recently launched the GoPro Channel on Xbox 360, which offers hours of user-generated GoPro videos for Xbox Live Gold customers. GoPro also has a channel on Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment systems and has hinted there are more content partnerships to come.

But seeing the game from another angle isn’t the only way wearable technology is changing the fan experience. Earlier this year, Google Glass hit the rink during a Washington Capitals game. Thanks to APX Labs’ Glassware Skybox software, Glass users were able to access stats, in-game highlights, and instant replays from their seats without having to look away from the game.

Even closer to the action is Hexoskin, which has teamed up with Porsche, TRAQS, and Atlantic Re:think to monitor driver’s biometric data and provide a new perspective for motor sports fans. Viewers are able to track the location and speed of the car on the race track map on a giant screen while simultaneously seeing the driver’s metrics including heart rate and breathing.

Wearables are definitely changing sports for fans, but it’s also changing the game for athletes themselves. Exploring these changes is the core focus of WEST (Wearable Entertainment and Sports Toronto), a new one-day conference that’s scheduled to take place on October 21st in downtown Toronto. Featuring speakers from Golden State Warriors, US Olympics, Recon Instruments, Adidas, and Toronto FC’s Dwayne De Rosario, WEST looks at how wearables are changing the POV for fans, building better players, and letting everyday people train like the pros.

MobileSyrup readers can get $120 off the ticket price by using promo code MOBILESYRUP40.

[source] WEST [/source]

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