Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Video Technology Developed in Pittsburgh Allows Penguins Fans to View Video Highlights on Cell Phones in Arena

The Stanley Cup Finals are coming back to Pittsburgh, and a world audience will learn about YinzCam, a “free experiential mobile video technology for sporting events,” that was developed in Pittsburgh.

Using YinzCam right from their seats with wi-fi enabled cell phones, Pittsburgh Penguins fans can select and view live video feeds from unique camera angles, catch and create their own instant replays from multiple angles, access game-time information, player bios and personalized content.

Originated as a research project by a group of Carnegie Mellon engineers led by Prof. Priya Narasimhan, Director of CMU’s Mobility Research Center, the group's first success came with the pilot of YinzCam for the 2008-09 NHL regular season for the Penguins, and for the 2008-09 NHL Eastern Conference playoffs.

YinzCam plans to specialize in innovative, experiential, in-arena mobile technology for sporting and entertainment events around the world.

In addition to providing live-action footage, the system also has many other features, such as On-Demand, which enables users to view video clips from previous or current games; player rosters, which provide player statistics; and schedules, which allow users to find out when the next game is.

As an added bonus, the system also has two unique features known as “Restroom Cam” and “Food Cam,” which show users how long the lines are at concessions stands and restrooms.

Developers had to overcome several challenges during the creation of the Yinz Cam system. The Wi-Fi network needed to cover the entire arena and also needed to be able to handle up to 17,500 users. Security was also a concern, since content could not be taken out of the arena due to conflicts with broadcasting rights with the television networks airing the game.

As Pittsburghers know, the term "yinz" is the local derivation of the original Scots-Irish term "you ones," and is commonly used to represent the plural form of "you."

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