Cisco’s StadiumVision Mobile Lets Fans Choose Their Own View at Barclays Center
Since Barclays Center opened its doors five months ago, video has been central to the game-day experience; a three-story center-hung video board is one of the first things fans see as they enter the building. Now fans can access live in-game video through their smartphones and tablets via the Barclays Center app, made possible by Cisco StadiumVision Mobile.
Introduced last month, Cisco StadiumVision Mobile delivers high-quality live video to mobile devices with minimal delay using the company’s high-density Connected Stadium WiFi network. The platform’s multicast video streaming enables Barclays Center to broadcast one source over an optimized network, rather than replicate one video channel multiple times for different devices.
At a recent Brooklyn Nets game — a 113-111 overtime win against the Milwaukee Bucks — Cisco joined representatives from Forest City Ratner, Barclays Center, and the Brooklyn Nets to officially unveil the app.
“We’re all excited to be able to showcase how innovative new technology solutions are really fueling the connected-fan experience,” said Michael Caponigro, global solutions marketing lead for sports and entertainment, Cisco, “There’s no better representation of that connected-fan experience than in the most connected arena in the world, which is Barclays Center.”
The Barclays Center app, available for iOS and Android devices, can accommodate up to four video streams at once. For the Nets-Bucks game, three video streams were chosen: GameCam (YES Network’s game feed), ReplayCam (a replay reel showing the highlights from the previous half), and SlamCam (a GoPro camera set up behind the basket). Because of the functionality and portability of the GoPro camera, the Nets can provide alternate views and unique perspectives for each game.
“A couple years ago, [we discussed] how we’re going to enhance fan experience and how are we going to be different. … We’re Brooklyn, we’re a new image, we need to be different, so how can we do that?” said Chip Foley, director of building technologies, Forest City Ratner. “We knew that, when people come to the game, they bring their devices and they want to connect to the WiFi. So one of our objects was to have free open WiFi. … Now we have the WiFi system, how do we expand on that?
“We wanted to build this portal into the arena,” he continued. “How to get here, what to do when you get here, ordering food, and then, finally, when you’re in your seat, how can you be part of the game? This is where the StadiumVision mobile product came in.”
Video feeds are sent via fiber up to the control room, where they are encoded and sent out over the WiFi network and can be viewed in near real time. Because of the multicast streaming, thousands of fans can connect simultaneously to the stream without affecting the stream.
“We’ll do the heavy lifting and run the lines wherever we need to offer something dynamic and offer something new every single night,” said Logan Meier, director of facilities and presentation, Barclays Center. “When you come in, you [can] ask yourself, what’s the camera feed going to be tonight? Is it going to be a scorer’s table? Will it be behind the backboard? Is it going to be in the locker room? Is it going to be in the hallway as the team is running down at halftime? That’s how you make it dynamic and make it really a destination when folks come into the building.”
In addition to live video, fans seated in Barclays Center’s upper levels can use the app to order food and drinks for pickup, thanks to technology provider Bypass. The app also gives fans the ability to send photos and messages to the scoreboard, purchase tickets, view event calendars, find real-time transportation information, and locate nearby restaurants, bars, hotels, and more.
Although the app’s features can be accessed outside the venue, the Barclays Center app is optimized for in-venue use. Users who are logged onto the Barclays Center WiFi are greeted with a Welcome to Barclays Center banner, followed by prompts to watch, eat, interact, check in, and more. Both inside and outside Barclays Center, the app features one-touch access to the Brooklyn Nets’ official app.
“Barclays Center’s mobile app will bring fans closer to and more involved with the action than they have ever been — regardless of where their seats are located,” said Foley. “When we began designing the visitor experience for Barclays Center, we knew that technology would be a key element. The mission was to add to the experience of being in the arena. With this app, I am confident we have created the world’s best fan experience.”