Technology Enhances Super Bowl 50 Fan Experience

By Joshua Salita,
Tech & Innovation Writer
superbowl tech

Football fans and festivity enjoyers alike consumed over 1.3 billion wings this past Sunday in honor of a sports game that captured the attention of over one hundred million viewers.

In the 50 years of Superbowl history, many things have changed, but what has changed the most is the need, and ability, for technology to interface with a football game.

Whether you watched the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos face off via Cable TV, an app on your phone or tablet, or streamed it on your laptop, you probably noticed some of the amazing changes that took place in terms of the tech that was used to film the game. CBS explained that there were, “5K cameras covering the event and a new EyeVision 360 replay system that gave viewers a 360-degree perspective and higher resolution.”

4K cameras are the newest round of progressions in the TV industry, offering 4 times as many pixels as a standard HD 1080p display. 5K cameras offer 5 times as many pixels as that same HD display, giving viewers an unprecedented level of quality and clarity during one of the biggest sporting events of the year. The Eyevision system consists of over 30 cameras, working together. This meant that this past Sunday the system gave viewers the chance to feel immersed in the game itself. This revolutionary machine offered the opportunity to pause the game, rotate the angle and change the point of view, and play through from that chosen angle. This radical technology will be very difficult to outdo in Superbowl LI.

Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco is, as CNET explains, “one of the most technologically advanced sporting sites ever built, and it’s a testament to the shift in how we view sports.” This shift in sports viewership highlights the expanding need to document our daily lives via social media. The stadium had the capacity to allow all fans within the stadium to be using any of the over 1,000 Wi-Fi access points to add pictures to Facebook, share replays on Snapchat and make witty comments on twitter. Levi’s stadium offers over 10 times the bandwidth that the National Football league mandates all stadiums to have.

In addition to allowing fans to get their fix of Instagram, advancement in technology also allowed government authorities to ensure that the stadium stayed safe throughout the duration of the game. Over 60 governmental agencies joined forces to supervise anyone and everyone that came anywhere near the stadium and/or the game this past Sunday.

While the alphabet soup of agencies refused to share the information as to how they watched over everyone in the days leading up to and on the day of the Superbowl, they did mention that Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) were used frequently this past weekend. ALPR’s are mounted on traffic lights, telephone poles, police cars and in a myriad of other places. The data obtained from the large quantity of ALPR’s is consolidated in a database, allowing the authorities to track where you go, how long you stay there, and how often you go visit. This information is then used when, and if, another source (which were undisclosed) raises suspicion.

With the combination of game viewing technology, and safety tech measures, this Superbowl was one of the most technologically advanced in the long history of the Superbowl, and it shouldn’t be any other way. As we progress in our technological ability, it only makes sense that one of the biggest events of the year reflects our technological prowess.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 9th print edition.

Contact Joshua at
joshua.salita@gmail.com

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