Take me out to the (augmented) ball game

Disclaimer: Parle Innovation and the eyeQ were part of ReadWrite Labs, ReadWrite’s IoT accelerator. I also act as an informal adviser for the company.

Since the first sporting events were broadcast on radio in 1921, technology has continually changed the way fans experience games. Now, a personal smartphone accessory may significantly enhance the viewing of live events in stadiums, athletic fields and even at the local park.

Augmented reality becomes reality

Most sports fans have no idea what augmented reality (AR) is – but they have been experiencing AR as they watch football and other live sports on TV for over a decade.  Similar to the “green screen” used on the weather channel, PVI’s (Princeton Video Image) introduced L-VIS (Live Video Insertion System) to display advertising on “virtual signage” during live sports broadcasts in 1995.

Then, in 1998 both PVI and SportVision introduced virtual first down lines to pro football, with PVI’s “Yellow Down Line” and SportVision’s “1st and Ten” line.  Since then AR has come to baseball and hockey with SportVision’s “Virtual Strike Zone” and their “FoxTrax” puck tracker.  Obviously, AR has now become a standard feature in TV broadcasting of pro sports, including football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer and motorsports.

Now imagine that baseball and other sports fans can see the game at the stadium with the same types of AR viewing.  Some of the features of live broadcast data have already been demonstrated to fans in the stands.  In September, Apple’s ARKit was promoted at a San Francisco Giants baseball game with the introduction of MLB’s At Bat App, allowing fans to gain up to the minute stats on players taking the field.

The biggest problem with the MLB app technology was the device itself.  Fans had to point their iPads or iPhones at the field or at players.  The fans were basically watching a live baseball game through an Apple device they would hold inches from their faces.  In the bright outdoor lighting conditions of a live event, the viewing is terrible.

Tech company Parle Innovation’s eyeQ, immersive smart binoculars can take AR to a new level with sports fans. The company wants to eliminate the separation created by a digital device when watching a sporting event through an iPad or smartphone.  No more fiddling with the phone to look up stats on MLB.com or Wikipedia.  Fans can get stats, overlay graphics and more with this new smartphone enabled device that gets them into the game like never before.

What is eyeQ?

The eyeQ device takes the idea of fans gaining up to the minute information by offering an immersive augmented reality binocular, eyeQ provides sports fans with the chance to see baseball and other events thru HD lenses that enhance the display on the smartphone’s screen. One day, eyeQ immersive binoculars could be seen in sports stadiums around the globe as this cutting-edge technology creates a unique viewing experience.

eyeQ isn’t just for live professional sports, however. What makes the new tech device great, is anyone can use it for any sports activity or live event. Whether a proud dad wants to use eyeQ to stream his child’s soccer match to grandparents on the other side of the globe or a mom wants to record special moments of her family vacation, eyeQ offers a number of amazing features and possibilities for AR never experienced before on smartphone apps.

How does it work?

eyeQ is designed to be simple and users of the immersive smart binoculars can be using them in no time. Users simply download an app, sync with the eyeQ and place their smartphone into the universal mount and hold the binoculars up to the eyes for viewing.

Once the user is looking thru the eyeQ  device, they can capture videos, images and stream live video to devices elsewhere with a tap of a fingertip. The idea of streaming video will completely change the way people view live sporting events. Whether professional baseball games or amateur soccer, eyeQ users can stream what they are viewing in real time to other individuals. In the future, sports teams of all levels could use the eyeQ to further engage fans. Go into the huddle or step into the box against a big league pitcher. The future of immersive augmented reality is limitless.

Using the eyeQ

Using the eyeQ is easy and far less complicated than one might expect. The binocular’s integrated touchpad enables users to control their smartphone’s camera functions and more. There is no need to constantly remove the phone to change settings or toggle through apps. Once in the smartphone mount holder, the eyeQ instantly connects to the smartphone, wirelessly via Bluetooth. Fans and spectators can video record, snap photos and share while live streaming and seeing everything in stunning HD. The device’s eyeQ Live app for iPhones enables up to16x digital zoom capabilities and eyeQ can be used around water, since it is made to be water resistant.

AR binoculars for sports

Major League Baseball and other sports leagues around the globe are embracing augmented reality technology. “Smart” fans are all about knowing more about players and their favorite teams. Baseball is one sport that prides itself on stats, and with the time it takes to play a full nine inning game, fans can fill dead space with AR apps.

However, eyeQ  enhances AR apps. It gives fans the immersive experience they want, but delivers more than what a simple downloadable AR app can, by enabling the zoom capabilities, enhancing the viewing, video and photo capturing and live sharing of exciting moments in the game.

eyeQ is coming

On October 17, 2017, the eyeQ will be available for preorder on Kickstarter. Sports fans and others can preorder their own eyeQ device and see the world through immersive AR, rather than an iPad or device being held six inches or more from their face.   eyeQlive.com/earlybacker   Mary Shulenberger mary@parleinnovation.com  415 518-1231   @eyeQlive

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