I was powering through my Google Reader feeds a few days ago when I stumbled across this great TechCrunch article. It’s funny to think that Disney’s imagineers of yesterday at some point sat in a room and said to eachother, “you know, I bet that in 50 years your food will come in pill form” and then, “Let’s build an entire area of Disneyland based on our crazy ideas!!”
Setting aside how out-of-control ridiculous some of their predictions were, I really like the concept of long-outlook ideation. This kind of thinking is completely free from any discussion of technical feasibility or business impact… engineers and developers always rain on my crazy idea parades. When a topic expert is discussing this long-outlook, it can be crazy interesting. Disney Imagineers may not have been the best to share their views of 50 years in the future, but big Appliance manufacturers, Consumer Electronic companies, Auto-Makers must have their theories. I would LOVE to hear what those people have to say about where we are going. If you’ve been on Hulu recently (if you haven’t you need help), you might notice they are running this “Honda: Power of Dreams” advertising… take the time to watch the videos, they are actually really interesting. The Honda employees interviewed share their thoughts on the the future or automobiles in 50 years. And no, it’s not all flying cars and sky-ways.
Anyway, I started thinking about lacrosse this way and it became a pretty fun excercise. What is lacrosse going to be like in 50 years? In 2059, when I’m 77 years old, what will the games I “watch” on “tv” be like? How will it be different to be a fan? How will it be different to referee, or coach the games? Man, I’m having some crazy thoughts right now — get this. Some aren’t entirely lacrosse related – but they are in the context of the game.
Crazy Idea #1
In 2059, Nike will standardize new uniforms/pads that essentially “detect” the location and sensitivity of a stick check and automagically and immediately transfers that information about that check to both teams and the “referee”. This innovation allows games to have some level of automated officiating, allows coaches/players to further understand their own game and improve accuracy. (yes, i know, this is freaking out there and raises tons of other issues. Shut up. I’m ideating)
Crazy Idea #2
In 2059, all Lacrosse games will be broadcast live in 3D. Proximity sensors will be so good, and cameras will be everywhere, capture EVERY ANGLE with unbelievable detail. (HHDTV – better resolution than the real world:) ). At home, you will have 100% control over the camera angle that you’re watching the game in. As well as your own Instant Replay, from the angle that YOU want to see it from. The ubiquity of cameras will allow you to seamlessly move between camera shots, the camera switching will be entirely hidden to the user. If you’ve played Halo 3 and used the Theater to replay games, this is more or less what I’m imagining. It’s like having a little flying camera that you can control.
This video is not only cool, but gives you an idea of what I’m thinking.
Crazy Idea #3
In 2059, ALL teams will have access to data and information that has never been possible before. Utilizing technologies like RFID chips, GPS, proximity sensors, the “stats-keeper” won’t be a person, it will be a computer. Not only will every player have an RFID chip in their gear, but their stick, the ball, everything will be “trackable” on the field. What this means is that the statkeeper will know if the ball is down or in the air, who is nearby it, if someone picks it up, if someone throws it out of bounds etc. All the stats, and many stats that haven’t been captured before will be automagically gathered and shared. Teams will have access to all this information, and can use it for detailed statistical analysis to understand how individual factors (passes, time of posession, turnovers) impact the outcome of the game. Without getting TOO geeky here (I am a researcher) I can imagine some very powerful statistical tools that teams/players could use to truly change their impact on the field.
So there you go, Lacrosse in the land of tomorrow. You’ll notice i didn’t share my thoughts on how the fans will be effected.
That is what Project Nyx is all about. :)
What about your crazy ideas?? Got any? Sound of in the comments!
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