Sunday, July 08, 2012

New Vikings NFL Stadium Virtual Reality Technology Smart Park Vision!

The New Vikings NFL stadium will become a reality. Most of the politics are now wrapped up, and development is beginning. We are still in the planing phase. There is call out for community input, because this project will be MUCH MORE then just a football stadium. What's being developed, is an unprecedented, year-round community of the future. This post is to influence development of the project from a state of the art, visual technology perspective. I'm fully aware that I'm writing the future here. I'm also aware these ideas are extremely powerful, to the extent that what I write here will revolutionize a massively lucrative industry. I'd like to date this influential report 7/7/2012.
For starters, this Vikings Stadium/ Minneapolis community is a BILLION DOLLAR development! 
I remember seeing stories a few years back, about Dubai building a SPACE PORT for 240 Million. So a billion dollar football entertainment complex, developed in 2012 better be outstanding!!
With that in mind, I'd like to see the New Vikings Stadium become a futurist technology park, during and after the big games. In this post, I hope to describe my vision and walk you through the available technologies that are ripe to develop a new experience. An extraordinary, compelling, high level experience which will put Minneapolis at the absolute head of entertainment technology innovation.
There are a few newer visual technologies you will want to comprehend. When put together in the context of attending a football game, they are frankly mind blowing. These technologies include Free View Point, Augmented Reality, Geo-location, Virtual Cameras, Smart Goggles, 3D Video, User Tracking, Performer Tracking, Powerful Mobile Computing, and very powerful new Computer Vision algorithms which process live 3D video data, and recognize all manner of objects. Many of these technologies are ready now. Some are still being developed.

Before getting deeper into the vision and technologies involved, I'd like to say that these development potentials can also be incredibly attractive to partners that the City of Minneapolis may not have thought of. We've not yet sold the naming rights! Can you imagine a Minnesota Vikings / Google Technology Park? Maybe a Microsoft/Vikings Viewpoint Stadium? Perhaps a bidding war between the two? Integrating futurist  visual technology infrastructure from the start, opens vast creative development options.

So into the vision..
Superbowl 2017. The Vikings Football Visual Technology Park has been open for one season. It's advanced offerings and amenities have been a thrill of which world had not yet seen! And so, it was an obvious choice to host a Superbowl, ASAP. Season ticket holders begin to populate their suites and seats donning Smart Helmets*. These futuristic headsets provide live audio and 3D video feeds, as well as informational overlays for the environment around them. They're available for patrons to own,  but many opt to rent for use during a single game. While watching the game, viewers can enjoy the amazing capabilities of these devices. They can track the scores and stats of individual players in Augmented Reality. And, they can use it in conjunction with the stadiums visual systems infrastructure, to access a personal virtual camera, providing a 3D point of view from any perspective imaginable. Wearing the Smart Helmet around the facility, patrons can be directed to concessions and enjoy special exhibitions.

The descriptive research videos below will do most of the talking, but, I'll try to explain how virtual cameras and 3DHD "free perspective" live video works.. 
An estimate of 30 to 60 4k-resolution HD cameras (that's four times the resolution of 1080p) would be positioned around the Vikings field. (As technology is accepted and refined, we may even see the player cam POV) When the game starts, the cameras all feed their imagery back to a central computer, which synthesizes all the video into a live 3D scene. Users can then fly around that virtual environment using a gamepad, a smart phone, or tablet Surface, as if they were actually on the field, live, in high definition 3D. You can virtually stand in one of the goals, virtually follow the ball, or virtually lock yourself into the perspective of any player. You could review instant replays in much the same manner as John Madden XBOX video games!

If you are aware of the way Avatar was filmed using performance captured actors, and virtual cameras in a CG environment, the Football game would proceed in much the same way. Albeit the computer vision is advanced beyond the need for funny performance capture suits. Computer vision easily detects all players by number, uniform and by face.

I think I've told enough to get your imagination going, and now I can turn it over to a collection of research videos. When you put all these emerging technologies together into a Football Stadium, the result is the ultimate entertainment experience. But as mentioned, this "Stadium Park" is desirable for much more then the 12 games of the NFL season. People will travel to Minneapolis from world wide, to experience the future - 10 years ahead of the curve! Using the concept of a "Technology Park", the Smart Stadium becomes a place for virtual tourism. It's a destination, which grants you the keys to visualize our city in ways previously impossible. More about non-game day applications after these videos!

Just an example of older technology..

New technology is advanced!


More insight on "Virtual Camera" systems

With a fan experience this impressive, just imagine how luxurious the broadcast room will be! It will be the envy of the league!

So you can see how in a very short time, the fields of Computer Vision, Gesture Recognition, Virtual Cameras, Augmented Reality, athlete/object tracking, 3D Headsets, Video processing and raw computational power have matured to a phenomenal level.
Now add to the mix, virtual tourism, 3D geo-mapping, and 3D City modeling arts, and you'll have fantastic experiences the internet cannot yet contain.. People would want to visit the Smart Stadium Technology Park to gain access to the cities visual and informational resources, found only there.

You've seen what augmented reality and virtual cameras can do, to provide an amazing perspective for the game day patron. Now imagine what happens when THE ENTIRE CITY becomes the playing field! Utilizing new geo-mapping paradigms, live camera feeds can be projected onto 3D models. It's possible to map every live public traffic and street camera to a high quality 3D map of Minneapolis. Imagine Google Earth LIVE and on steroids!  Privet Security corporations are already doing this, but think about the City allowing access to it's camera system for tourisim and entertainment! Visitors can learn about the history and attractions of Minneapolis by FLYING around in a 3D Virtual Reality simulation of it. But not your grandpas old school VR. We're talking a mature technology, state of the art, innovative implementation. All cities will be like this in the future. The internet itself, strives to accomplish this. Minneapolis could have it first.

So, if you're going to Minneapolis in 2019, can you expect this?

Your comments below, or at this Minneapolis E-Democracy post ( ) , are appreciated. (just click "no comments")

1 comment:

Chris said...

I like Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Browns stadium in Cleveland, OH ranks in at number 5 on the list of top NFL stadiums. Cleveland stadium is a great place to watch a football game. Built near downtown Cleveland, the architects of the stadium built in large gaps in order for fans to be able to look out of the stadium and into downtown Cleveland. They also installed a lot of glass in the stadium to see out of. The atmosphere in the stadium is breathtaking. The fans in the "dog pound" are some of the most boisterous and rabid fans of any NFL football team. The stadium is also built near the beautiful Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Mark from stadium lighting systems