A New Tech Twist On An Old Sport
When you watch sports games on television, you might not realize how technology — specifically, augmented reality — has improved your viewing experience for sports broadcasts.
About 250 people packed into Airbnb’s San Francisco office to listen to Stan Honey, the director of technology for America’s Cup, discuss how his augmented reality technology is changing the sports world.
“You make things that are important to a sport but hard to see, easy to see, so the commentators can tell a story,” he said.
Honey is perhaps best known for creating the yellow first down line for football, the illuminated strike zone for baseball and glowing hockey pucks for the NHL.
But sailing is the sport he’s most excited about benefiting from his technology, as he is a former professional sailor himself.
“For even a sailor, it’s hard to figure out who’s ahead [in a race],” he said. “It’s just a bunch of boats.”
The technology for the upcoming America’s Cup uses computer data that can actually change the course of a race while it is happening, in order to adjust for wind conditions and to ensure the event fits certain time slots.
And it didn’t go unrecognized: the organization won an Emmy this year.
But it’s not all good news for Honey. The America’s Cup organization recently made cutbacks, and Honey was part of that. When asked what’s next for him, he said he didn’t know quite yet.
“I’m not sure whether I’ll go back to my previous technology career, or my sailing career… or go back to the America’s Cup.”
Until he makes that decision, he’s looking forward to showing off his approach at this summer’s America’s Cup race.
“America’s Cup is the oldest trophy and continuous trophy in mankind,” Honey said. “It’s the oldest sport of them all.”