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Researcher Develops Technology That Improves Fan Experience at Super Bowl

Researcher Develops Technology That Improves Fan Experience at Super Bowl

Priya Narasimhan There is no doubt that “Super Bowl” is the biggest sports event in the United States and also the one with the largest audience. For Priya Narasimhan, researcher at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), its significance goes beyond that: it is also at the same time personal and professional.

As a football fan, Narasimhan just couldn’t sit down and watch peacefully the game at the stadium. She had to do more. Thus was born YinzCam, a smartphone application that improves the fan experience while watching the game, even if they are sitting down in the worst seat of the stadium.

That is what happened recently: the Baltimore Ravens won over San Francisco 49ers (34-31) at the “Super Bowl” in Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. If Priya enjoyed the game, we don’t know yet, but certainly the 72 thousand fans appreciated it a lot due to the smartphone application that allowed them to watch the game and its replays from far more angles than just their stadium seats. Overcoming of the latency issue for streaming video is also an asset of this technology.

“[Before] I was often unable to see the goal, the touchdown, the interception, or the save because my view was often blocked by people taller than I was, and most of all, at just the moment that it counted during the game,” told Narasimhan. “I wanted the best of both worlds — the level of control over the experience that I have with my TV sitting on my couch at home, along with the unbeatable shared experience of watching a game in a stadium with 80,000 rabid sports fans like myself,” she said.

Her fan experience soon led to YinzCam. By 2009, the technology of the startup was experimented with the Pittsburgh Penguins during their Stanley Cup run. Since then, the number of teams and stadiums that adopted the application didn’t stop growing. At the moment, the concern of YinzCam goes beyond it. The startup develops the official mobile apps of various sports teams, including its unique in-stadium replay technology along with out-of-stadium statistics, roster, news, photos, live press conferences and much, much more.

“In my opinion, they’ve become the preeminent in-stadium sports app developer in the world,” said Jonathan Kraft, the owner of New England Patriots, the first NFL team to use YinzCam’s technology. “As in-stadium smartphone and tablet apps continue to develop, we fully believe YinzCam will be leading the charge with the most state of the art applications for this market,” he stressed.

YinzCam’s mobile apps have been downloaded over 6 million times by NFL, NHL and NBA fans worldwide. The company is also now expanding to support sports teams outside the United States.

Priya Narasimhan was in Portugal last January to speak at the Inaugural Symposium “Carnegie Mellon Portugal: An Entrepreneurial University Industry Ecosystem in ICT,” where she talked about her experience as a researcher then become an entrepreneur. Priya Narasimhan is deeply connected with the CMU Portugal program, through the co-supervising of students and as principal investigator from Carnegie Mellon University of two research projects: TRONE and Vital Responder.


March 2013