A week after becoming the first NBA franchise to accept Bitcoin as payment, the Sacramento Kings became the first team to incorporate Google Glass into live broadcasts.
Although the Sacramento Kings have had very little on-court success in recent years, they are certainly the pioneers of embracing the NBA's technological future.
Last week, the Kings announced that they would accept the controversial crypto-currency Bitcoin in exchange for tickets and merchandise. Only a few days later, the team experimented with incorporating Google (GOOG) Glass into a live broadcast, and so far the feedback is extremely positive.
The Kings strategically gave Google Glasses to people in various locations throughout the arena; the announcer, host, and various fans close to the action the wore the device and recorded exactly what they were seeing. These feeds were then streamed to the Kings’ broadcast department, which incorporated these various camera angles into the live broadcast.
“I’m at center court getting the crowd up on its feet and you can kind of tap into what I’m looking at and see the crowd rising onto its feet through my eyes,” Kings host Scott Freshour told CBS.
The idea is certainly innovating and exciting, swirling the imaginations of basketball fans everywhere. Perhaps a few seasons down the road, coaches and referees will wear Google Glass to give fans an up-close and in-depth perspective of basketball and in-huddle discussion. Fans could one day have a first-person perspective of a referee giving a technical foul to DeMarcus Cousins, or Kings coach Mike Malone chewing out Ben McLemore for taking an ill-advised shot. The possibilities are exciting and virtually endless.
In the future, the Kings could also use Google Glass to enhance the in-arena fan experience. Fans inside the stadium who wear Google Glass could gain access to a world of statistics, other games around the league, and different camera angles throughout the arena.
Google Glass is set for full-scale public release in April 2014 with a price tag of about $600. The device is currently available in limited capacity for $1,500.
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