Innovation

Super Bowl LI will tap tech to give viewers a player's POV

Kurt the 'CyberGuy' explains how it works

 

The Super Bowl dates back to 1967, and now, decades later, the big game of 2017 will make use of modern tech that will boost viewers' experiences.

For one, FOX will feature technology called “Be the Player,” utilizing a network of nearly 40 cameras in the rafters of NRG Stadium in Houston. Those cameras will work together to create a complex image of what a scene looked like from a specific player’s perspective on the field.

“We tasked Intel to push their amazing Intel 360 Replay technology to the limit of what it could do, using their array of cameras circling the stadium to synthesize a player’s view on the field,” Michael Davies, FOX Sports SVP of Field & Technical Operations, said in a statement. “The cameras, backed up by a huge bank of Intel computing power, allow a moment to be recreated in 3D space, so that a ‘virtual camera’ can be placed at the player’s eye line -- not unlike how limitless camera views can be created in video games.”

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Wireless carrier Verizon has also taken steps to make sure that the  multitudes who gather to watch the Patriots face off against the Falcons can get a signal— the company said that they’ve boosted their network’s capacity in Houston by 450 percent.

Part of Verizon’s improvements to their Houston network include 23 new permanent cell sites, over 220 new permanent small cell sites, and an antenna system designed to serve the stadium’s lower seats. It’s even deployed two dozen of what the company calls Nodes on Wheels.

“Our engineers have been working tirelessly to ensure our customers have a great wireless experience with Verizon,” Nicola Palmer, Verizon’ Chief Network Officer, said in a statement. They've had employees working for almost two years to get things ready, the company said. 

Super Bowl LI will also make use of small radio-frequency ID tags in each player’s shoulder pads to track athlete's movements down to an accuracy of about six inches, thanks to a company called Zebra Technologies.

“It takes about 120 milliseconds from a movement on the field to be registered into a computer and under half a second to broadcast,” Jill Stelfox, of Zebra, told Fox News.