Mobile Apps Enhance The U.S. Open Experience
New applications for smartphones, computers and iPads can enhance enjoyment of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Back in the day, those extra items one needed to bring to the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens was a wallet and maybe a set of binoculars. Today, a smartphone can give attendees a whole host of tools designed to help enhance the experience, from watching a match and help you get around the grounds better.
For starters, tech sponsor IBM added a few new features to this year's iPhone app, like "Augmented Reality." As the user looks at the outside world through the phone, little pop-up labels appear and provide information.
"If you think about it, data's all around, but it's bringing that data to life. And it's actually in a sense allowing you to see through walls," says Kristina Kloberdanz of IBM. "If you hold up your iPhone to a court, it'll show you what the score is on the grandstand court. If you rotate it a little, it'll show you the score on Louis Armstrong [Stadium]. Or if you're hungry, you can rotate it and see where the closest food stand is for you to get some food."
Users can also find bathrooms, mass transit info and handicapped access points. The app also offers streaming radio commentary of the matches.
Tennis fans who are not able to get out to the games can use the U.S. Open Web site for more ways to take in the live action.
Stat junkies can dig deeper with IBM's "Pointstream."
"You can actually see the data visualized. You can see what those numbers begin to look like," says Kloberdanz. "The rally count within a point, it may be 27 shots that players have gone back and forth, you can start to see the duration of that. You can see a momentum meter of really how the match is starting to flow."
Just as it was the World Cup soccer tournament earlier this year, every U.S. Open match that is live on TV will also be shown live online, along with extra coverage.
"You can actually see more online than you can see on TV," says Phil Green of the United States Tennis Association. "If you have a chance to watch live tennis on your 50-inch plasma, that's [only] the main court or two courts, if we have ESPN and the Tennis Channel. But then we have the other three courts as well, so we have up to five courts [online] simultaneously, which you don't have on TV."
The site has also been coded so that all that all live action that can be followed on the computer can also be followed via iPad.