So I admit to knowing nothing about smart phones or tablets, and I only sorta understand what an app is. The fact that my basic flip phone can magically send words to other people still amazes me, I still think of yellow legal pads when people say "tablet," and in my world, app = boneless buffalo wings.
That being said, a few things I saw online recently have made me consider (finally) adopting some of this new tech. The first was this clip on YouTube re: the arena's upgrade of their Wi-Fi infrastructure (ostensibly for the DNC):
A few questions:
-is this new & improved Wi-Fi as good as they claim?
-(probably stupid question, but...) this is free, right? As long as I have a compatible device, I can just hop onto their wireless?
-that Bobcats app they showed looks kinda neat. Is it useful when you're at the game and not just watching on TV? How does it enhance your enjoyment when you're there? Instant replays, social media interaction, in-arena polls, etc? What's cool? Can I order a hot dog from my seat?
Next up, I saw this press release. It's a press release, not an article, so I think I'm allowed to post the whole thing, but (just in case) I'll only post the relevant portion:
An ESPN.com article explains how that would all work in practice:The NBA and STATS LLC on Thursday announced they have expanded their partnership to install STATS' SportVU Player Tracking technology in every NBA arena beginning with the 2013-14 season. The multiyear agreement will make the NBA the first major U.S. professional sports league to quantify and analyze every movement of live game action throughout the entire season.
As the Official Player Tracking Partner of the NBA, STATS' SportVU -- a system of six cameras and STATS' proprietary software -- will be used by all 30 NBA teams during games to calibrate and measure the movements of all players and the ball on the court. The groundbreaking system will provide a continuous stream of innovative statistics based around speed, distance, player separation, and ball possession for detailed and targeted analysis of players and teams.
The NBA Game Time app, NBA.com and NBA TV will use SportVU player tracking data, enhancing the league's current statistical offerings and providing fans with the most comprehensive breakdown of every game.
So between the Bobcats app, this new addition to the NBA app, and (hopefully) good free wireless at the arena, it sounds like there might be some benefit to jumping onboard with this new (to me) tech. As such, I was thinking of getting a good mini tablet and bringing it to games. Does anybody do this? Part of me thinks I would never use it though, since looking down at a screen when the game is happening live right in front of me seems silly. On the other hand, I think it could be fun during timeouts and halftime. What say you BCP? Good idea, or total waste of time/money?Want to see how successful Ricky Rubio was at guarding Russell Westbrook? The system could break down the shooting percentages and results of each head-to-head possession.
Want to get an idea how close to 100 percent Kevin Love was in his first few games back from a broken hand? The system could send information to the team trainers and doctors about his endurance and how quickly he is tiring during a game, thereby painting the most accurate picture possible of his recovery.
Want to see how many times Al Jefferson touched the ball on the left block in the first half? The system could send information to an iPad that showed the location of every one of his possessions and allowed coaches to make adjustments on the fly.
get a smartphone or tablet, i don't care, just don't have your nose shoved in the thing when 10 out of 450 of the very best human beings at basketball are playing right in front you.
For one, the Bobcats are very active on social media during games, especially on Twitter. They run a "Tweet Your Seat" promotion that allows those of us in the nosebleeds to tweet our location, and possibly get to move down low. I've had people near me get moved multiple times, but I've never been able to enter since I lack the necessary hardware.
They also run other contests that give us a chance to win free tickets (which is great because then I have extras for friends), and other prizes.
Also, other sporting venues are experimenting in select sections with actually ordering from the concession stands with your phone. Here's a great recent article about the innovation. In that way, the use of a smart phone or tablet would actually allow you to see more of the game (not less) since it drastically reduces the time spent in line. Hopefully the 'Cats implement this!
I've also seen every halftime show the Bobcats have done, and trust me, I'd rather pore over the 1st half stats than watch a giant Zumba class on center court (actual halftime show last season). When I bring people that rarely attend games, they still get a kick out of that stuff, but I'd rather check out what's happening in other games, is a division rival getting a key win, etc.
I totally get your point, but I'm not advocating playing Angry Birds during a 4th quarter comeback here. There are several legitimate ways in which smart phones & tablets can enhance your gameday experience, especially if your seats aren't the best.
Last edited by CableBoxCat; 09-26-2013 at 05:38 AM.
The whole arena wifi thing seems pretty nice since I have Sprint and can barely check an email in the arena, but the Bobcats app for Android is seriously one of the smelliest pieces of turd to ever be shat out of a butt. If they got the crew that did the Panthers app to create a new Bobcats app from scratch it would be amazing.
BoxCat, I am a STH in the upper section and I and the folks I sit around have our phones out regularly during the game. It's good for twitter and finding out player availability which wasn't available prior to game time. It's also good for looking up movie titles on IMDB when we're down by 7329 points to the Spurs and there's nearly two quarters left.
As for WiFi; I tried it several times last year with my Android phone and I could never get it to stick the landing. It always seemed to be disconnected. Sometime later I just gave up trying as Sprint was doing a ton of upgrades so I used 3G. Either way, I found (on MY device which might be MY experience only) that WiFi was very hard to connect or stay connected. I have a (Verizon) Windows Phone now so I'll try it again this year - perhaps the improved phone hardware will work better.
Out of curiosity, do you really want a tablet to take into the arena? Seems like something that would be difficult to keep up with for a full season dragging to a game. A large screen smart phone might be a better option. And if you just want the form factor of the phone without the phone itself (or the data plan with your carrier), buy a generation old phone off Ebay and just don't activate it (they make good wifi devices - my old Android phone is a great alarm clock .... runs about 12-14 days on a charge now lol). That or buy an iPod Touch which is basically the same thing (but has the disadvantage that it could never be activated to a phone I guess).
Sorry for the ramble
Shade, that's odd, about mid-season last year, I suddenly had four bars of connectivity on my aging Sprint Galaxy phone. Earlier in the year, like you, I could not get or make a call for the lack of signal and I'd wear out my battery just roaming. Curious if you experienced the connectivity issue into 2013. It must be a hardware diff if so.
Agree with you on the Android Bobcats app. It really was a poorly put together app. I have the new(er) Bobcats app for Windows Phone and it isn't the sexiest looker but it seems to have some nice function to it. I'll keep it around for a few months once the season starts up to see if I like it.
Last edited by Adam42R; 09-26-2013 at 12:41 AM.
Since I don't life in the USA I don't care that much about the wifi access in the TWC arena, but it isn't bad that they updated it. I am very interested in the advanced statistics that the game time app will bring though. Cause I like to correct people, and with this feature there might be a possibility that that could happen. Now we can use these new and improved ways to point out that Al Jefferson can't defend at all, but I'm glad they mentioned him in the article.
It's crazy how stank it is, huh? I don't even think they've bothered to update it for the new color scheme. Hopefully they're holding out for next year and will have a sweet hornets app. I really doubt the current app can be salvaged.
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I took my 2 year old son with me to games last season and the wifi was great. He would watch you tube clips of CARS or some other cartoons and there was no lag or buffering at all.
Hopefully this year he will be more interested in watching the games.