Televising races like the America's Cup series creates several obstacles limiting the viewer experiences. Because of this TV coverage was limited and catching the attention of your average sports fan was a tough sell. That is before a variety of technologies were brought on board for the 2013 America’s Cup, the 34th running of the races held in San Francisco.
It was at that America’s Cup series, where the defender Oracle Team USA representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, and the challenger Emirates Team New Zealand representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, helped showcase how the best GPS navigation systems can assist in producing a totally enhanced, viewer friendly TV experience for sports fans everywhere, whether sitting on a sofa at home or following on a mobile device. With the help of NovAtel® equipment, the team with LiveLine revolutionized both the TV broadcasts and the way race officials are able to track and score these fast-paced events.
With a long history in applying augmented reality to broadcast sports, Ken Milnes and partner Stan Honey were hired in June 2010 by the Oracle team to develop the tracking, telemetry, and augmented-reality system for the America’s Cup races. From the get-go, they knew they’d need the best equipment available to overcome all the obstacles and deliver the most accurate data necessary.
“We got convinced in our discussions with various vendors that NovAtel was the company that was going to make it work for us. That they were interested in the project and that they were willing to customize software for our needs,” said Milnes, whose work with a company called Sportvision led to TV breakthroughs such as the yellow first-down lines for football broadcasts, and the graphics used to follow NASCAR drivers speeding around ovals on your television screen.