Vivid Sky gains investors, stadium demo due

By Ken Kerschbaumer
Vivid Sky, the maker of a new portable video and data device for use in Major League Baseball and National Football League stadiums, continues to gain traction, lining up its first round of investors and also readying for its first public demonstration of the system this July.

We ll be testing our system with a minor league baseball team for six games at the end of July, says Tim Hayden, Vivid Sky president.

The handheld devices will deliver instant replays, major and minor league stats, and allow users to order food and bid on an in-stadium auction. By tying into the stadium s video scoreboard system via a PC it can take incoming replay feeds from numerous camera positions and ready them for distribution over a wireless local area network.

Vivid Sky s system, which is much smaller than the Kangaroo TV device that is currently being used at NASCAR and Formula One racing events, also takes a different philosophical approach.

Eventually fans are going to want to bring their own devices and cellular networks will handle all of this data, says Hayden.
While VividSky and Kangaroo TV would appear to be at odds Hayden says the competition is welcome. In a brand new market you need a couple of companies to help educate fans, he says. There s enough market to go around for everybody.

Hayden says his company is involved in numerous talks with interested sports parties but, as yet, he can t divulge any specifics. But the positive reaction has him confident that Vivid Sky will be a part of the stadium goers experience in the future.

Three years from now you ll see people interacting with their own devices and tablet PCs in the corporate suite environment, he says. We don t want to create individual silos: we want to connect fans with text messaging to screens or having them take part in the attendance quiz. And it will be less expensive for the fans with ads and sponsorship defraying the costs.

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