Wearable Tech World Feature Article
January 20, 2014

Google Glass Makes its NBA Debut with the Sacramento Kings

It seems that each passing day brings with it another new application of Google Glass. Some of these — like the bride who used Google’s wearable technology to capture her wedding — are useful and beneficial while others — like driving while wearing Google Glass — are seen as nothing but potential nuisances. Fortunately, the most recent example of Glass entering a new area falls under the former category.

That new area, according to a report from ABC News, is that of professional basketball. In particular, the Sacramento Kings will soon become the first team not just in the NBA, but professional sports as a whole, to incorporate Google Glass into gameplay.

At the upcoming ITEXPO in Miami, Fla. a session titled, “Google Glass, Wearable Computing, and the User Experience,” will uncover the impact of reality becoming augmented, the new business paradigms it creates, and explore the opportunities behind Google Glass apps.

This latest initiative is being spearheaded by a man who has one foot planted in both the professional sports and technology worlds: Jim Kovach. Kovach was once an NFL player but is now the business development leader for electronics company CrowdOptic and so he would know better than most just how Google Glass can change the way fans interact with sports.

Not only will Sacramento Kings players wear Google Glass during games, so will professional announcers. The devices will always be on and recording while players are on the court, making it easier to capture every angle of passes, blocks, dunks and more, with a focus on providing a first-person viewpoint of such events.

This footage will be streamed to both the basketball arena’s Jumbotron in addition to sporting networks, which can provide the unique footage with viewers at home as they see fit.

It’s easy to imagine that this first-person Google Glass footage will be a success among sports fans looking for more involved interaction with games. That said, it’s not up to the fans if this takes off. Despite its relatively small, lightweight build, Google Glass may prove an annoyance for players.

Still, Kovach believes that first-person footage will soon become standard in the NBA — as long as the debut glass game goes well on the 24th.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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