Thursday, 29 May 2014

Technology in Modern Sport

So we all know how much of an impact technology has in everyone’s lives now, and each day it is getting more advanced, more creative and more technological. That is why it is one of the biggest advancements in today world. 

Plus we all know just how big sports are in everyone’s life. Especially live sports. Each person, no matter who they are, will have that sport that is key in their lives and has a big impact on one of their main interests.
Do you ever think just how much technology has had an impact on live sports. 
They are two of the largest growing interests in the world, and them both working together provides us with a greater interest in them together.

Let us have a look and see just how technology has had an impact on various kinds of sports.

Let’s start with Football
Now football is huge, huge, huge, and technology became a massive part of football – Goal Line Technology. Goal line technology is a method used to determine when the ball has completely crossed the goal line with the assistance of electronic devices. 

Two systems were implemented into the certain competitions in the professional game from nine originally tested in 2012 and have remained since. 

This technology was brought in to assist the referee in the decision making as to whether the ball has fully crossed the line or not. Now look at this great advancement that technology brought to football. It provided a more accurate scoring to the games and is one of the biggest evolutions of the modern game, similar to allowing substitutes and the wage cap football. 

Technology has and now plays a massive part in not only football but in the lives of the supporters as they now also rely on it.

Secondly let’s take a look at Cricket. 
Cricket has a massive following the world over. The technology that got brought into cricket was the Hot Spot. Now cricket you have to be able to determine where the ball hit perfectly before making a decision. 

That’s where the Hot Spot came around. It is an infrared imaging system used to determine whether the ball has stuck the batsman, bat or pad. It requires two infrared cameras on opposite sides of the playing ground above the field of play that are each constantly recording an image. 

Any suspicions from the game can be verified by examining the infrared image which usually shows a bright spot where contact friction from the ball has elevated the local temperature.
This technology is used to provide accuracy within the game. This just shows how great the technology created for this game is and just how much of an impact it can have within cricket matches.

Thirdly let’s take a look at Tennis
In Tennis they use a system called Hawk-Eye. Now what this technology system does is it ensures that high pressure points do not fall prey to umpiring mistakes, it brings the fans closer to the action. It shows whether a ball was in or out on stadium big screens and televisions at home. 

Hawk-Eye allows the audience and viewers to feel like they are actually there and a part of the game, bringing a whole new dimension to television coverage and fascinating tennis fans worldwide. 

This technology, Hawk-Eye was the first and only ball-tracking technology to have passed stringent ITF testing measures and is now an integral part of the ATP, WTA and ITF tennis tours. The technology for Tennis is one of the best and became straight away part of the rules.

Fourthly Golf.
Golf has had a lot of technology around its sporting attribute. For Golf, technology has provided a way for Golf to be able to let its fans and supporters to be able to play a game of Golf through simulation and let it seem like players are in a real time video flying through the course they are playing hole by hole. 

 This technology that got invented for Golf has become so popular with a lot of people that it is easily to be found in a lot of places now. 

The simulation technology allows Golf supporters to make it feel like when they want to play a game of Golf or learn how to do it they can play through a simulation game indoors, providing them with a great, satisfying experience.

All of the above sports are now using technology to improve their games and help apply the rules fairly to each game so that no conflict arises and it is a fair game. Each different kind of sports is now also using apps so that people can bet at events with their chosen bookmaker. 

This allows people to interact with the game and sport on a more personal level allowing them to be involved when and where they wish to be. 

To make it easier for people to use the apps to be able to make bets and interact with the games more, Wi-Fi is now assisted in stadiums, gaming areas and at other outdoor live events to save people using their own connection and rely on the technology that is provided on the day of the event and by that certain brand/company.

Technology plays a massive parts in live sports as it not only assists everyone such as the game, players, supporters, fans, it enables people to make more accurate decisions on how the game went. 

In addition and probably more importantly it allow supports, viewers and fans to feel like they are a part of the game on a more personal level and finally it encourages people to keep on supporting that sport and provide a lifetime commitment which was started through technology providing everyone’s with the ability to do all of the above.

Looking at which technology was used within different kinds of sports, we wonder just how it has that impact on different areas within sport. 

Let us start with the competition that is within sport. For each competitor playing a game the technology allows them to know that the game can only be played fairly and that no cheating can be done. 

For them this is a relief as somewhere along the way maybe many years ago cheating within games will have gone on and not a fair win will have been provided as there was no evidence until new technology advancements came around.

For the live audience, the technology advancements have allowed them to get a greater view and judgement of the game themselves and feel like they have become a part of the game. It allows them to feel like they are more involved if they can clearly see and understand what has happened more and let them make judgements for themselves. 

Technology provides the same assistance for the 'integrity of the game' to equal fair play throughout the game. It allows the players and referees to know that the game can only be judged as fairly as no mistakes and cheating can be made with the new technology that has been provided to different live sports. 

It allows the performance of the players to be judged carefully and let the audience see also just how well they play and how fairly they play throughout the game.

Technology provided within sports now had allowed the empowerment and enforcing of the rules to be more legit and accurate. The technology that was provided for Tennis 'Hawk-Eye' became a legit part of the rules instantly, changing the empowerment of the rules for the game and the aspect of it. The different types of technology provide statistics and data more easily for people to be able to find as it can now collect it all and store it as a result of the game and what happened within each game within each sport. 

Hawk-Eye also enables the showing replays of action on the cameras and televisions within the stadium which provides more assistance for the audience and players again and makes the audience feel like they are more involved within the game and for those who may have a restricted view get a better sense of what happens throughout the match. 

This technology has provided great opportunities within each sport and provided a whole new aspect and outlook on what happens now within each live sporting game.

So what is coming next for live sports and technology? 

Well with technology being more advanced each day there are a lot of opportunities that could become available such as camera drones, stadiums increasing their connectivity with super Wi-Fi so people can access content across their phones faster? Who knows?, but there is still a lot to come with technology for live sports that will look at improving even more on the events than how they are how.

However one type of technology that is advanced and can be used at live sport events is skignz.  

skignz is been 'mooted' as the next way for live sports to be viewed at the events with the same information available to those watching it on TV – such as Sky Sports multi-channel display with fanzone, commentary, statistics, replay etc... 

All of these can be built into separate channels with skignz so that it can be seen whilst watching the game live at the venue or location of where the sport is taking place!

skignz can make that infrastructure visible and visually appealing to the live audience.

Sound good?

skignz is fast becoming one of the best new technologies at live sport events and most likely will be in the future, just keep watching that space.

So thinking about how much technology has already made an impact and what is to come, skignz can assist all of that and more with the technology created and what could be provided at future events.

If you would like to read more to find out just exactly what we do, have done and to see just how great it is, then please follow the links below to our social media sites, website and YouTube channel to see some of the great work that we have already done and plan to do for the future.

Look up! Not down!

Social media and technology now compared to the past is an important part of almost everyone’s lives. 

No matter how young or old you are you will have some form of social media in your life. The majority of this is all done through your mobile device. 

Now we all know that it is important almost essential to have a mobile device for calls and texts and to get in touch with everyone now and then but we don't need it all the time for everything. 

We have become that attached to it that it feels like we have literally lost a limb when we lose our phone. We feel like we cannot do anything or get in touch with anyone. That’s how much it has made an impact on our lives.

But think of how much you are missing out on in the world when you have your head down constantly on your mobile keeping yourself to yourself and not interacting socially. Thought about it?

What did people do years ago? There was no mobile phones and technology like there is today. People had to communicate and find out information in different ways. 

They had to either write letters to each other, telecommunicate even pigeon letters at some point (although that’s going back quite a while now). However my point is that even though we have all of this amazing new technology we don't have to miss out on the world. 

Technology is developed and getting developed currently now that allows you to see the world and not miss out on opportunities and being personally social while using your mobile device. 

Consider just how many important things happen in your life daily, monthly and yearly. Yet half of those you will miss the opportunity of experiencing them fully because you relied on your mobile device to assist you and social media. 

That isn't what you want. You may think at the time you are experiencing everything fully however you are not, your mobile is. Such as going for jobs. You will be searching for them ‘looking down’ on your mobile device a lot of the time, when really an opportunity could be straight in front of your eyes if you only just 'looked up'

You may walk past that job advert sign or that person that could be looking for someone currently as you relied on your mobile phone to help you find a job.

Think about when you are travelling. A lot of people travel each year, over 1 Billion. When you go travelling you want to have fun and experience the place while you are there. 

You like to take interest in what you do and what you see. 

So what do you do? 

You take a photo or video on your mobile phone. Then what… you upload it to some form of social media site. You're not really enjoying the full experience for yourself. Yes it is nice to take a photo and upload it to social media for others to see, but not all the time and not just the point of going travelling. It is your interest, so make it your interest, don’t just do it for likes and to be seen as popular.

So what can you do to make sure you are always looking up and not down?

You need some form of technology that allows you to do all of the above and keep a look out on the world in-front of you.

We have one word. skignz.

At this instant you may be thinking what is skignz or yes I know about skignz but how does this help me.

Well that is what skignz is all about. We want to open up the world and every opportunity to you so you don't need to miss a thing again. 

How do we do this? 

We do this by having created outstanding technology that is free for you to use and will improve your experience of whatever you do.

skignz is a free app that you can download. It places a virtual sign in the sky so that you can see it through your mobile device. 

You do this by pre loading your skignz account using google maps so that when you arrive where you were going, you can load up skignz on your mobile device and there will be a sign in the sky (skignz) where you previously placed it.

There is a lot of information you can read on this on our social media sites, our blog, our YouTube channel and also our website.

So how does this help? Well you want to see the world and be more sociable whilst on your phone, trying to find where you are going or trying to meet some friend’s etc... 

We help you with this. With skignz you look through your screen onto the world outside, you're not blocking it out you are still seeing out onto the world while doing what you are doing on your mobile device.

Now skignz isn't just about trying to help you navigate, although it is one of the best to use for this, it is a great social tool for you and your friends. You can communicate with them, arrange to meet them and still find out what they are up to as you can see each other profiles through skignz

You will be doing all of this while looking up and not looking down.

Just have a really good think about it. You know yourself that you are missing out on a lot when you keep your head cascaded down into your mobile phone, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities that could change your life, even if it is just a small change, it still makes a difference.

All I would like you to do after reading this is sit down, have a look at your phone and think to yourself – do I keep my head down a lot? How much do I actually miss out on? Am I too busy being nosy in everyone else life to notice my own as much? 

I need to download skignz now for free?

All of them questions will help you realise that you don't want to spend the rest of your time looking down and not up, so much happens in your life and in the world, so don't go missing out on anymore. 

Change your life now and make a change for yourself. We can guarantee that skignz will make that small change for you that you look for.

If you would like to find out anymore information on skignz then please use the links below to check out our social media sites and websites. If you have any queries at all, then please don't hesitate to ask any one of us.

Using skignz at Live Motor Sports Events

Summer is virtually here, the bad weather is going and the sun is shining, good times are getting planned and we are now officially into ‘British Summer Time’ 2014.

You will have your favourite hobbies, days out and events planned that you wish to do. Years from now you will have that great memory, maybe a song, and certainly pictures to remind you and take you back to a specific time and place during the summer of 2014.

Many of you will get these memories from attending Live Events, Motor Sports etc...

Let us set the scene...

You along with friends/family will set off for a live motorsport event this summer and you will arrive after (in most cases) a long journey in a car, van or coach. 

Skipping forward past finding a place to park in the middle of a field and getting yourself through the entrance into the event before grabbing a drink and go for a look around, find out what's going on and where?

You finally get your drinks and you then settle in, relax, in order to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the entertainment of the day.

Sound's perfect? This to most is the usual journey each of the millions of people will make this summer to attend the thrilling exciting live motor sport events on offer.

Now you have sat and enjoyed this show for a while and you fancy another drink or how about something to eat?

Where are the refreshment stands? In fact where are the toilets as you don't fancy making two trips! 

As with the majority of people, finding the refreshments and toilets is one thing! 

But finding your way back to where you originally were! Now that’s a whole new level of stress and hassle!

Going through your mind is no doubt a few or all of the following:

- How will you get back to where you where?

- How do you find your friend(s)? The proverbial 'needle in a haystack'!

Unless your friends are 9ft tall and everybody else is under 5ft tall, you are going to struggle! Add in the feeling you get after a couple of drinks and your orienteering skills are not the sharpest they have ever been! You feel a bit disorientated.

Is there a solution? Other than carrying around a massive sign or a flag saying 'I am here!'

What happens if everybody does the same thing, you are all right back to where you started, looking for a 'Needle in a Haystack' springs to mind.

The solution has arrived and does not require you to carry anything more than what you walk around with in your pocket every day - a smartphone or for events like this you may take a tablet with you.

Lets go back to the point where you're stood looking for the refreshments stand and toilets. Now open up your smartphone/tablet and click on the skignz App!

Now 'Pan' your phone around as if you were videoing the crowd!

As you do this and as if by magic, little 'virtual signs' will appear above the toilets and the refreshment stand. Pan further to see what is on next and to allow you to keep track of who you are watching, which car you are keeping an eye on? Use the pinch on your phone to zoom in and out on each skign, press the skign on your screen, a short press activates some relevant content, a longer press reveals how far away that actual skign is located!

How about getting yourself some vouchers or offers to the next live motor sports event, just click the image on the left hand side and you will be taken straight to the site where you can access these from and download them right to your phone.

So back to your little mission to get a drink and something to eat, visit the toilet while you are there.
You have used skignz to find each of these locations.

This type of skignz can been provided by the live motorsport event producers or their sponsors to help you find your way around the event and make your life easier, while enhancing the whole experience.

Now you have been to the toilet, bought your food and drink and you want to find your friends?
This is where skignz really becomes your best buddy!

Hold up the phone again and pan across the crowd and you will see 'skignz' above each of your friends heads! You will only see there’s because like with other social media channels you are only linked to people you know or want linked to you!

Now if they have a great big skignz above their head - is that not the easiest way to find them EVER? Theirs and your personal skignz will have a picture of you, your name and a little comment - like a 'tweet' or 'Facebook status update' on their skignz!

Not only can you find your friends, but also each one is personalised to them!

We at skignz though want to make finding ANYTHING! Easier...!

So we have included in the free to download App, the ability to 'drop a skignz or arrow' over your car or coach you travelled on (remember the thing you arrived in and parked in a sea of cars and coaches earlier - you will need that to get home!).

So now, not only do you know where you parked (ready for quick exit to beat the traffic), where the toilets, food, drinks and who's on next and at what time... download their vouchers/offers at a good price, right to your handset, even where the charging points are so your phone does not go dead!

How much of an improved live motorsport event experience is that?

Motor sport events, live events and even places such as festivals are the easiest place in the world to get lost & lose your friends!

You dont have to worry about getting lost, finding anywhere specific, losing your friends? skignz is not only helpful, insightful and interactive, is also great as a safety device.

Getting lost is a horrible feeling, losing your friends and wandering around aimlessly for hours is no fun, after all you came with your mates to have a good time - mostly together, because an experience shared, is so much more than one you experience on your own!

So why not download the skignz app if you are going to a motorsport event, festival event or any other live event? Even if the venue has not heard about skignz or got their event environment skignzed up!

Get your copy of skignz now:

You can do it yourselves between you and your friends! Even if you only use it to find each other when you get lost, find your original seat or car!

Surely thats gotta be worth 10 seconds of your time download a simple little app that could be the coolest thing on your phone this summer! It certainly will be for those people when they get lost and they will!

Enjoy this summer, enjoy the motorsports and other live events, but enjoy it more, knowing you have a little app on your phone that can help you navigate around a strange place, find your friends and find your transport home, because if you don't find that, you won't get to go to anymore events this summer!

Bring on the summer of 2014 - When you hear the new Calvin Harris song 'Summer' and you and your friends have all downloaded skignz to see what its like?

We are sure from now on you will remember the summer of 2014 as the 1st year that you used skignz!

Get your copy of skignz now:

Please also check out the rest of our blog, YouTube videos and social media sites using the links below.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Further Evolving the University Campus Experience

Over the previous 10 months we have been working with Teesside University to provide the skignz technology platform for the benefit of students, staff and visitors alike.

Due to the success of the platform, TU have been working with skignz since Freshers to find ways to build on the foundation that was in place. The focus was to find ways in which to maximise the potential of the skignz platform in as many areas of the University and its operations as possible.

Freshers Welcome Week
This proved to be quite a daunting task as it soon became apparent that skignz could actually benefit so many different areas of the University that it was agreed that focussing on a few key areas would be key to the ongoing success of skignz, whilst also allowing a period of educating the varying audiences for each key development.

We have covered various aspects of our progress with TU on previous blog posts, the opinions of the students, how it has helped them and improved their overall student experience. 

However not just at Teesside it has enhanced their experience in general of the town and now the can adventure to where they wish knowing they will be provided with skignz on all their exploring activities.

Freshers @ Teesside University SU

Now talking about exploring... 

We are focusing our main activities for launch at fresher’s week in September as there will be an influx of new students attending Teesside University, resulting in a increase in students and parent's wandering around an unfamiliar campus and the surrounding Middlesbrough Town Centre.

We have three key focus areas that we are currently developing. 

Key Focus One:- Open Day Introduction

In June Teesside University has one of their main open days for prospective/future students to attend and see if they would like to start their career at TU and if this is the right place for them. As this can be the first impression any prospective scholar has of TU, its essential that its not only the right impression but a lasting one.

Middlesbrough Central Library
 The prospective students will visit a number of campuses before making their final decision and even when their choice is made, results from their current academic institute may not allow them their first choice, second choice or even third in some cases. 

So being memorable for all the right reasons is vital!

skignz have been looking at what we can do to enhance the open day experience to further increase the chances that the impression created will help those to choose to come to TU.

When prospective students attend the open day there will be a skignz treasure hunt for them to take part in. This is to help them find their way around campus and get to see where everything is located and just what is available.

During this specific Treasure Hunt, prospective students will have focussed relevant content such as visit a shops, parks, bars, restaurants, museums, library, art gallery, halls of residence, cinema, live venues, even the estate agents should they not be successful in getting a place in Halls. 

Shopping on Linthorpe Road
It is essential to the decision making process that visitors to campus, don't only see what is on campus but also what the surrounding area is like and what it has to offer. 

This way the prospective students are not just going to a random area where they don’t have a clue where everything is, as that can be a very daunting experience! Going to University, especially away from home, is already daunting enough!

Key Focus Two:- Induction & Orientation
Now that the decision has been made and applications have been accepted, September soon comes around and students arrive on the University Campus ready for the next stage of their lives. Being in an unfamiliar place, with new people has its own challenges so if there is a way to reduce the stress, even a little less, will go a long way towards helping, speed up the settling in period and allow enjoyment to replace anxiety.

Simple support such as helping the new students navigate around campus and surround area in a safe yet simple way. Help them understand where all of the practical places they will need during their stay, such as doctors /dentist surgeries, supermarkets, banks, hair dressers/barbers, even cashpoints and the huge range of student support services available.

All of this is available through using the skignz technology and the app on their smartphone by placing 'virtual signs in the sky' above each of these locations so that new students will know where they are? If they do decide to come to Teesside (as it is a great place to study and live) then they will want to get their bearings and know where the important places are as soon as possible. 

TS One, Southfield Road
Cineworld, Middlesbrough
The new students can then find out where each one of these places are and then make their own decisions as to where they want to go. A huge benefit of skignz is this information is there ALL year round so its available as and when its required, regardless of location!

This Treasure Hunt will also have a physical aspect to it, in as much as, each location will provide you with a 'order to fulfil' this could be picking up a menu at a restaurant or getting the latest film leaflet from the cinema. 

Its not initially apparent but once the Treasure Hunt is completed each participant will have their own personalised 'Welcome Pack' relevant to them.

Key Focus Three:- Visiting Parents, Guardians, Family & Friends

As the two other key focus areas are student related, we felt that other key audiences visiting the University Campuses should not be ignored so we decided to look at ways to help other visitor groups. One particular group is the parents, guardians and families who also visit the campus for the open days and interview days.

The World Famous Transporter Bridge
As part of choosing a University to study at, prospective students consult not only their peers but a lot of influence is carried by the families especially parents and guardians. It is essential that parents/guardians know what the area is like too, where their loved ones are staying and familiarise themselves with it. 

In most cases the experience of 'losing a child' to University life is a proud moment it is also a very difficult one for the parents as their baby (in their eyes they still are) is off to a new place with unfamiliar surroundings, different people, environments and experiences.

One Life Medical Centre
Once a parent waves off their child to University, they will still be keen to know where they are going, where they are staying and what the area is like. 

Using skignz, parents can also download the app so they can access different content that is relevant to what they would like to know about the area. What is important for parents about this prospective University is not necessarily the same as what the students are looking to find out or what is important to each!

This approach not only allows the parents/guardians to get a feel of what the area is like but also understand where things are. This helps once their young fresher is at University and they speak on the phone, when they explain where they are, parents/guardians on the other end of the phone have a mental picture of where they are, what it looks like! This might not sound important, but to a parent this helps ease the nerves as it puts them at ease being able to envisage the place!

In addition when it comes to visiting them, picking them up at the end of term etc... finding the way to their accommodation and knowing where to meet them is easier. Going one step further using the 'personal' aspect of skignz individuals can place their own skignz for free so anyone visiting them are able to see the skignz either above their housing or above themselves. 

Now people may think that these young people may not want you to use this, but it doesn’t have to be used as a tool to keep an eye on them at all times. That is not the case, its simply their to provide a visual identification for both parties to locate each other! The beauty of skignz is its very viral, so its not just restricted to University Campuses and their surrounding towns. 

Once Parents and Guardians have skignz on their smartphones then they can use it back home, on holiday, at work, with friends, pretty much anywhere on the planet they find themselves, anytime they want. Its excellent for use on your travels, for when you go places and even for general use such as when you need to locate a certain area, pre plan it before you go using skignz!

Further areas in which we are making skignz become seamless and ingrained in student life is that by September 2014 every member of staff, student and associate who have a Teesside University email address will automatically be pre-registered with a skignz account and loaded up with specific skignz templates personalised to them. 
skignz is simple, fun all from a App!

Each type of skignz for each person will be associated a certain colour to show the differentiate between students, staff and associates. 

For example: Students could have an orange outline, staff could be red and associates will have a purple trim. 

This will be so that each person is distinctive and it will be easier to associate who each person is with their different coloured trims. 
This can be defined each further to show which school of study they belong to?

In order to support the students with the actual downloading, use, account and other functionality we are developing a fun and interesting 'demo video' taking the user through a little journey, showcasing the features, benefits, the why and the how they can get the most from using skignz

We feel the sooner the users get to grips with skignz and how it helps them on campus they will begin to explore for themselves what else skignz can do, how it can help them in other areas of their lives and even invent new ways in which skignz can 
improve their lives!

TFM SoundWorks, Live Music & Events
As skignz is evolving with Teesside University, we are working together to provide the most up to date resource on 'everything skignz'.  

We aim to provide a central resource allowing anyone wanting to know further information on skignz, How to use it? what can it do? FAQ's, Help Videos, New and upcoming developments through to technical support function. 

The use of skignz at TU already has a lot of good stories, interesting content, ideas, information and updates on both skignz and TU's varying social media channels.
We want people to have fun and enjoy using skignz and we look forward to meeting all the new students and parents/guardians, family and friends in June and September for the open/interview days and ultimately the induction & orientation days, which start during freshers.

Please visit: