Think Major League Baseball’s stats and live video iPhone app is cool? Imagine what Apple could do with technology it was granted a patent for this week: a network of sensors that deliver real-time velocity, impact, rotation and other data from sporting event participants to the web. Imagine your iPhone’s accelerometer placed inside a boxer’s glove, a snowboarder’s snow suit or a NASCAR driver’s car – with the information captured delivered to your iPhone or Apple TV while you watch the competition either in person or remotely.
Would you pay a premium for an event ticket that includes real time stats like that delivered to your iPhone? I would. Of course Apple is granted all kinds of patents all the time and only some of them amount to anything – but this one is very cool.
MacNN reported in depth today on US patent 7,552,031, (“Personal items network, and associated methods”), filed two and a half years ago and granted yesterday. News-watcher extraordinaire Atul Arora sent us the link as a tip. The patent appears related to the “find my iPhone” technology reported on yesterday, but all the examples in the patent application are based on real-time sports statistic monitoring and are quite interesting.
Call it augmented reality, call it ubiquitous wearable computing, call it Web 3.0 if you must. It’s widely believed that networks of sensors feeding data into computers for analysis and visualization are going to be a big thing in the near term future. Value-adds built on top of that data hold huge potential for the development of software we can’t even imagine today. This vision is big in the electrical utility world, but private sector innovators are being hampered by the lack of vision seen in public utility companies. When it comes to the world of sports, the sky could be the limit. Imagine attending a sporting event and being able to select from a variety of apps for the app store, built just for that kind of sport.