SBJ/Feb. 7-13, 2011/In Depth

YinzCam application offers stats, replays

Pittsburgh-based YinzCam is a smartphone application that provides alternate live camera shots, real-time game statistics and replays to fans within a stadium or arena. YinzCam beams its signals to any smartphone, be it an Android or iPhone.

YinzCam is free for fans to download and use.
Priya Narasimhan, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, launched the company in 2009 with a handful of technology students and a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two years later, Narasimhan has taken a leave of absence to oversee the company, which has a staff of 10 full-time technicians and a clientele list that includes the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers.

“I’ve spent my life working in technology but I’m a nobody in the sports industry,” Narasimhan said. “The fact that the Penguins [gave] me my first break in hockey and the Patriots in football, those are things that give me goose bumps.”

YinzCam made its debut in Mellon Arena, and the Penguins liked the service enough to incorporate YinzCam’s servers and wireless technology at new Consol Energy Center. The team sold presenting sponsorship rights to Verizon, and the new arena features YinzCam coverage in the entire seating area as well as touch screens in the concourse and all 66 luxury suites. The service required a mid-six-figure investment from the club that covered the technology costs as well as the installation of cameras. The application is free for fans to download and use.

Pittsburgh’s YinzCam also provides closed captioning for hearing-impaired fans and the live high-definition radio broadcast.

“The feedback has been incredibly positive,” said David Peart, Penguins vice president. “It gives you that personal control over your game experience.”

— Fred Dreier

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