Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cisco Systems and The Yankees bring us StadiumVisionTM

There was a fancy press conference in Midtown Manhattan today announcing a joint-venture between the Yankees and Cisco Systems that will provide cutting-edge technology to the new Yankee Stadium. Getting down to the nitty gritty, the new Stadium will have HD televisions - a LOT of them - displaying actual HD content. This is a far cry from the old Yankee Stadium where the only HD television in a public location that I ever saw was at a loge-level "Stadium Services" booth. This 42 inch flat screen regularly displayed standard definition Yankee classics stretched sadly to fit the 16:9 screen. It was really a microcosm of how outdated the "old" Yankee Stadium truly was.

Beyond the HD televisions everywhere, another item of note from the press release is the technology that the stadium is equipped for:
Fans of the Future: Cisco and the New York Yankees have also kept an eye toward the future to ensure that the stadium remains state-of-the-art for years to come. For example, the new stadium is equipped to support future fan use of mobile devices for ordering concessions from their seat, viewing instant replays or chatting in real time with friends inside and outside the stadium. In addition, the stadium has the capability to allow fans to communicate with players before or after the game using interactive video-based technology.
Note that the release is very clear that this technology is not to be expected right away. When the Stadium opens in April, you can expect a lot of new HDTVs, but not much other exciting tech-toys. To put things in perspective, it does not appear that there will immediately be anything cutting-edge in the new Stadium rivaling Seattle's Safeco Field "Nintendo DS Fan Network". They are "keeping an eye toward the future", so I am hopeful that some fascinating technology will be heading our way soon enough.

The entire release is available on Cisco's Website.

UPDATE: Not mentioned in the release, but information that came out of the press conference is that the ENTIRE stadium will be high speed wi-fi enabled. This will eventually be used for the "fans of the future" features explained above. No word yet if this will be an open network that your uber-cool Iphone will be able to access on opening day.

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