Starting Saturday, at the University of Michigan’s first football game of the season, a select number of fans at The Big House will be able to access on their smartphones customized video highlights, photos, stats, play-by-play analysis, and interactive content as part of a pilot program by Atlanta-based XYCAST.
“This technology is the equivalent of an interactive personal Jumbotron delivering a custom broadcast simultaneous to the live event,” says Bruce Cox, CEO. “The XYCAST platform is valuable technology that teams and venue owners will use as a tool to enhance the fan experience before, during, and after the game. Programming can be customized to the game or stadium, even targeting a specific segment of fans within the stadium.”
Cox says he was inspired to launch the venue-specific data broadcasting company after noticing the challenge stadiums face in providing strong wireless connectivity. XYCAST sidesteps the need for Wi-Fi or a cell network by providing fans with a personal data receiver that connects their smartphones to the XYCAST wireless data broadcasting network, using Bluetooth technology.
As part of the pilot program, the select number of U-M football fans will be provided with personal data receivers to connect to the network. From there, they can access real-time game updates and other content through an app downloaded to their phone. The company did not reveal how many or how the fans will be selected.
The XYCAST network can broadcast live game-related information — everything from video highlights and player stats to analysis from reporters and fan participatory contests — to phones within a mile of a given stadium, Cox says.
Four other universities are participating in the pilot, including Auburn University, Florida State University, United States Naval Academy, and the University of South Carolina.