Friday, July 15, 2011

Bank of the West Classic and CrowdOptic to Launch New Fan-Friendly Mobile Technology at 2011 Event

SAN FRANCISCO, USA /PRNewswire/ -- The Bank of the West Classic and CrowdOptic, a new Silicon Valley technology company, today announced a partnership that will allow the tournament to launch a new mobile technology that will enhance the viewing experience for its live event spectators at the 2011 Bank of the West Classic. The new technology from CrowdOptic will allow the spectators in the stands to see real-time information about the players displayed on their smartphones while they snap photos of the players moving around the court. Fans will be able to receive a range of information about the players including coaching tips, up-to-the-moment statistics, and special offers from the event producers.

The Bank of the West Classic is the first women's stop of the Olympus US Open Series and the longest running women's-only tennis tournament in the world, held in the magnificent setting of Stanford University. The event, which is owned and operated by IMG, will now also be the setting for the debut in sports of "augmented reality" technology that lets spectators follow the live action and obtain enhanced information just by snapping a photo, or hovering their phone in the direction of a moving player. The CrowdOptic system senses when concentrations of users in the crowd are pointed at the same player and who they are looking at; this allows the Bank of the West Classic to broadcast relevant information to all the phones that are pointed at the same player at any given moment, as well as capture a wealth of real-time data about crowd behavior, with regard to photo taking and sharing, that can be used for analysis purposes.

"We are continually looking for new ways to improve the fan experience at the Bank of the West Classic while exploring new technologies developed in our own backyard," said Kim Hall, Bank of the West Classic Tournament Director. "We are pleased to be offering this new technology from CrowdOptic that will allow our guests to have the most up-to-the moment tournament information at their fingertips, right from their own mobile device."

The CrowdOptic application will be available at the Bank of the West Classic on both Android and iPhone platforms. It includes fully integrated photo sharing capabilities that let the spectators capture the augmented reality information in their photos automatically and share it online through social networking sites.

"Augmented reality, which is traditionally based on static environments, is taking a big step forward with moving objects in live action," said Brent Iadarola, Global Program Director for Frost & Sullivan's Mobile & Wireless Communications Group.

Ian Sobieski, Band of Angels investor in CrowdOptic, said that, "Our group of more than 120 former and current high-tech executives has seen a lot of mobile technology come and go, but CrowdOptic is something different. The technology lets you use your phone to track moving athletes and tell you exactly what you want to know about them - right at the moment you want to know."

The 2011 Bank of the West Classic will be held from July 25th – 31st at Stanford University. Tickets are on sale at: www.BankoftheWestClassic.com.

About the Bank of the West Classic

The Bank of the West Classic is the oldest women's-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Olympus US Open Series. A WTA premier event, the Bank of the West Classic features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $721,000. Held on Stanford University's campus at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams. The Bank of the West Classic is owned and operated by IMG.

About CrowdOptic
CrowdOptic is a real-time augmented reality and crowd behavior monitoring technology that is enhancing the live, in-venue experience for fans at live events. Our proprietary technology enables people watching an event to simply point their smartphone at a moving object and have information broadcast back to them. CrowdOptic is a privately-held company based in San Francisco, CA, and co-founded by entrepreneur Jon Fisher. For more information, visit www.crowdoptic.com.