|By Shelly Palmer||
|November 8, 2012 04:42 PM EST||
This week finds me in Chicago visiting my family. Go Bears! I’m not a huge Bears fan, but I’m from the West Coast, where football is a religion like it is in other places in America. Plus, when in Rome…
I’ve roped my family into helping with the column this week. My family is more suited for this type of work than you might think. I often joke that I was raised to be a futurist. My dad, Dave, was a radar-tracking technician for the FAA. My mom, Jane, was an IT specialist for a local college and the government. Dad taught me how to read electrical schematics before the age of ten and mom raised me to speak computer.
If you want to see cutting edge uses of technology and entrainment, look no further than sports and pornography. These two necessities of our screen-watching lives have a long history of early adoption and monetization of emerging technological advances.
Back when broadcast TV was the new kid on the block, baseball and boxing ruled the airways. In 1939, the first Major League Baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds was broadcast by WNBC-TV from Ebbets Field. It took just eight years for the MLB to broadcast the World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. The signal was carried between New York and Washington, D.C., and was watched by about three million people. Remember, this was 1947 and most Americans still didn’t have a TV in their living rooms; many had to watch in bars.
From satellite connectivity to connected screens, sports does a good job of “futurecasting” how we might use and interact with new gadgets and technologies. This year, ESPN is filled with commercials of rabid college football fans watching their favorite team wherever they might be, as they “Never Miss a Moment of the Action!” Visit most major sports arenas and your 4G connectivity is probably the best you’ll find in that city. The number of bars you get sitting in the stands of AT&T Park in San Francisco is amazing. (Go Giants!)
I don’t think these facts will come as a surprise to anyone. We’ve come to expect this type of tech adoption from sports. What interests me is the subtle changes in people’s behavior enabled by these advances. Keeping this column in the family, let me tell you about my cousin Laurie.
Laurie and her partner Pat are crazy huge Boston Red Sox fans. They have been fans all their lives, know all the players’ stats and yell at the TV. They talk about the Sox like they’re talking about family, wondering about injuries and how players are doing on a long road trip. It took me a few hours to figure out that Dustin Pedroia, Boston’s second baseman, wasn’t related to me. THAT would have been awesome!
With this much Red Sox mania, it makes perfect sense that these ladies are addicted to MLB.TV. This non-broadcast service allows them to watch any Major League Baseball game anywhere on any device. They can keep up with Pedroia on their Apple TV, laptop and smartphone. Now, for a kid who played the part of the remote control for my dad when he watched baseball games in the 1970s, this really does show we’ve entered the future of sports. If you like sports, you simply get more. More of the games you want, more information about your teams and more all-around access whether you are at home, on the go or in the stadium.
“It means we could move to Palm Springs for the Win-tah,” Cousin Laurie explained to me with a smile. (“Win-tah” is “winter” with a heavy Boston accent.)
“We can keep an eye on our boys and sit in the sun,” Pat added with a freckled Irish face.
This is the sign of a true technological success! When the future arrives, it should feel normal, as though it’s always been there. But it should also make our lives better. In its own way, that’s what MLB.TV (and all the other services like NBA League Pass – Go Blazers!) is doing. The future of technology and sports over the next 5 years or so will be less about the technology and more about the sports. It’s about the people: the people who love watching sports and connecting them to the people who play the games. It’s not about the technology at all. I find that kind of lovely. Sports have always been about people. The act of playing a sport, any sport, is intensely human. We connect to the brilliance of the play but also the stories of the people who are playing.
In the wake of devastating natural disasters and polarizing political elections, sports might not be the most important thing in the world. After all, baseball, basketball and auto racing are all, in the end, just entertainment. But it sure is a lovely diversion to watch amazing feats of human skill and talk smack about rival teams. In the relentless march of technological innovation, humans still win when it comes to the future of sports. It’s about the people and their stories and that’s not going to change. Go Bears!
DISCLAIMER: I am Intel’s futurist. I am currently on sabbatical from Intel. My thoughts, observations and analyses are mine personally and I am not speaking on behalf of Intel.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
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Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,744
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Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,940
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Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,980
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Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,051
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,944
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
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Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,643
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,827
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Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,722
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,979
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 2,086
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 2,190
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,928
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Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,291
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,149
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Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 2,264