Business and sports go hand by hand, but also hi-tech is now stepping in. A group of entrepreneurs from the Silicon Valley, such as Google, Apple, Facebook, PayPal and Yahoo, will start a professional soccer team in San Francisco, The San Francisco Deltas. They hope to use virtual reality to improve athletes' performances - for example, the goalkeeper's reflex - first in training and then in the actual game. Their ultimate goal is to have a new format in order to improve the show for the public.
Among the innovations they want to bring there is a smart ticketing service: a technology that allows fans to move seats from game to game, based on their interests and backgrounds. For instance, in one match a fan could sit with his kids in a quieter area, in another he could move to a louder supporters section. In another match that same fan could use the technology to sit with people who support the same club team as them, or sit close to people with the same nationality. Fans will also be encouraged to vote their favorite food trucks.
Technology have transformed sports in many way in the late years. The advent of blogs and social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook have enabled athletes, columnists and the public to engage directly in real-time discourse. The stadium experience has changed dramatically over the past years. Giant high-definition scoreboards, wireless in-seat food orders have turned pitches into high-tech, versatile amusement parks. Some technologies in sports became essential and and non-intrusive tools in order to reduce the human error factor (such as the disappearing field foam, in the picture above).
However, when something is too controlled it loses attraction and unpredictability. Technologies are now enhancing the athletes' abilities, almost turning them in unmistakable machines. These advantages can be seen as great improvements in performances but also as a loss of authenticity, roughness and human error - fundamental traits of all activities. They risk for sports is to become just cold, detached and emotionless exercises.