7 hi-tech firsts you'll see at the Super Bowl

Between 3D printed cleats and game predictions determined by big data, this year's Super Bowl is going to be the techiest yet.

Hi-tech Super Bowl

Being that the two teams playing in Super Bowl XLVIII come from two of the nerdiest cities in America, it’s no surprise that they’ll be accompanied by a full complement of the latest hi-tech gear.

Everything from both an infrared and Google Glass view of the festivities to 3D printed cleats on the players’ sneakers will make an appearance. Here are seven ways the Super Bowl is geeking out. 

People shown in infrared

Infrared cameras will display player body temperatures

Infrared cameras will be among the more than 80 cameras Fox Sports is using to cover the Super Bowl. The cameras will display a player’s body temperatures as a spectrum of colors along with that player’s game statistics. 

Apparently, Fox Sports figured covering what is likely to be the coldest Super Bowl ever played wouldn’t be complete without TV viewers being able to feel as if they were stalking players like the creature from the movie Predator

Google Glass on a table

Google Glass view of the festivities

Speaking of views, CBS announced it will be offering TV viewers a chance to see the big game from a Google Glass perspective

The TV network said one of its sports anchors from affiliate WROC-TV in Rochester will be bespectacled with the hi-tech eyewear. As the anchor moves around, viewers will get a view via Google Glass’s head up display and forward facing camera of the festivities.

But it’s not just the commentators who’ll be sporting wearable tech. The Broncos’ defensive tackle Terrance Knighton geeked out with Google Glass over the past week, as did Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, giving armchair spectators a player’s perspective.

Helicopters flying over football game

Hi-tech security unprecedented

Obviously, the New York and New Jersey police departments will maintain a massive presence leading up to and during the game. Giving those agencies a hand will be officials from six federal, state and local agencies.

The law-enforcement agencies plan to have helicopters above and boats in the waters around the stadium equipped with thermal-imaging and night vision cameras and radiation-detecting sensors. On the ground, along with x-raying all attendees and their bags, oversized x-ray machines will check every truck entering the stadium. A counter terrorism car with a 360-degree camera will also be prowling the area in order to spot any suspicious packages. 

Different sized Data from Star Trek dolls

Big data in the big game

Need to know who wins? Sports analytics site PredictionMachine.com predicts the winner through its Predictalator big data analytics engine by running 50,000 virtual simulations of the game. 

Built by Paul Bessire, a statistician and veteran sports journalist, PredictionMachine.com has a pretty good record; it's undefeated in picking conference championships over the past four years and has a 9-1 record against the spread.

The prediction engine, based on a SQL database, takes into account every player's past and current stats and how weather might affect their game. For example, if Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch averages 4.2 yards per carry, the database uses that information in conjunction with statistics about the Broncos defensive line and how weather affects the players. 

So who will win? Seattle with a score of 24-21. 

3D printed cleat

Nike spikes it with 3D printing

When Denver and Seattle players hit the field this Sunday, the cleats on their shoes will have been designed for the first time on a 3D printer.

Nike's Vapor Laser Talon bottom plate weighs just 5.6 oz. and was specifically designed on a 3D printer to provide optimal traction on football turf and help athletes maintain their "drive stance" longer.

The plate of the cleat is crafted using Selective Laser Sintering technology (SLS), a 3D printing technique that uses lasers to melt successive layers of powdered polymers. The process offers a faster method of creating cleats, all done through computer-aided design. “SLS technology has revolutionized the way we design cleat plates,” said Shane Kohatsu, director of Nike Footwear Innovation.

Super Bowl Media Guide

Critical information available via mobile alerts

Lucky enough to be at the game and need to know where the shortest beer line is? Want directions to the Vince Lombardi Trophy?  How about the gate closest to your seats?

Well, at this year's Super Bowl, mobile users can subject themselves to location-based mobile marketing and get alerts on their devices from area merchants and the National Football League. Retailers have been using location-based advertising for sometime, but this year, the NFL has placed wireless transmitters, called beacons, around Times Square and MetLife Stadium for users of its mobile app.

When you download the The Super Bowl XLVIII Media Guide, you'll get location based notifications and alerts, a detailed event guide and map, as well as score and stats updates.

Digital Super Bowl program

You can't tell who's playing without a program

While any attendee of a Super Bowl knows the one thing you must take home from the game is a program, this year you won’t necessarily need that traditional magazine. 

At this year's Super Bowl, the program will be available in a digital format online so, ya know, you won’t end up spilling your beer all over it.

 covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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