ESPN Goes Point-of-View with Pivothead For Wichita State’s Perfect Season Clincher
As the Wichita State men’s basketball team put the finishing touches on a perfect 31-0 regular season with a home win over Missouri State on Saturday night, ESPN decided to chronicle the event in an entirely new way.
Through the use of eye glasses-based wearable camera technology provided by Pivothead, ESPN was able to capture on-court and in-the-stands point-of-view video and audio for postproduction use in that night’s SportsCenter.
“The genesis of this was just a new way to capture great environments,” says Tim Dwyer, associate producer at ESPN. “That’s what makes college sports what it is.”
This was the first time ESPN used Pivothead technology and the network plans to continue to use it in the coming weeks of the men’s college hoops season. According to Dwyer, ESPN was originally going to try this workflow with Google Glass but when the production staff got their hands on the Pivothead glasses, it was a simpler technology to deploy and explain to users.
ESPN used two pair of Pivothead glasses on Saturday, the Durango Chameloeon and the Recon Black Jet – which both retail for only $269 a piece. Dwyer rotated them between three different positions. Shockers’ redshirt freshman Zach Bush wore the glasses during pregame warmups and band member Brandon Anderson and a fan had them on during the game.
The Pivothead glasses currently work in a postproduction environment. All video is recorded directly to memory inside the device. Dwyer than plugged the glasses into his laptop and was able to cut PoV pieces and send content back to Bristol. The footage did not appear during the live game broadcast on ESPN2 made for a unique look back at the game on SportsCenter.
Pivothead’s team says live capabilities are next on the docket in this rapidly growing technology.
“Our strategy is to integrate closely together with the sports industry to create unique opportunities for broadcasting true point of view video to in-arena Jumbotrons, integration to Second Screen premium applications, and general in-broadcast use of PoV of events before, during, and after the event,” says Chris Cox, Pivothead’s founder and CEO. “Our goal is to help broadcasters create unique, innovative content to improve overall fan experience and interaction.“