10 technologies that transformed how we experience sport
Invented by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895
Move from post-event reporting to real-time
enjoyment of sporting events.
First live radio broadcast of sporting event –
boxing match between Johnny Dundee and
Johnny Ray in Pennsylvania, US, 1921.
Invented by Philo Farnsworth in 1927
Move toward hearing and seeing live
First live television broadcast of
sporting event – the 1936 Summer
Olympics in Berlin.
Invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440
Printed newspapers massively boosted sports
awareness and popularity.
First sporting event covered by
journalists in print – The Boat Race
between Oxford and Cambridge Universities,
UK, in 1856.
Invented by John Vincent
Atanasoff in the 1930s, more
broadly used by 1950s
Move from analogue to digital
scoring and timing systems in sport.
Video tape debuts in TV in 1956; live
action replay machine invented by Tony
Verna in 1963
Invented by Geoffrey Grant and Robert
Nicks in 1974
Warns when ball or player’s foot lands out
of play – improves accuracy of judging and
fairness in sport.
First networks in the 1960s; current form
emerged around 1990s
Data, information, and conversations
shared online bring sports stars, organisers,
sponsors, and fans together.
First sporting event streamed online –
unconfirmed, but AudioNet streamed the
Southern Methodist University Mustangs
versus the Arkansas Razorbacks college
football game from the Cotton Bowl in
Dallas, 1 September 1995.
that transformed how we
view and enjoy sports
First automatic timing device used in competitive sports – the
Phototimer at the 1948 US Olympic trials, a unique combination of
photo-finish camera and a precision electronic timing instrument.
Ability to show crucial sport moments again, instantly – also
used for adjudicating close refereeing decisions.
First live action replay during sporting event – US Army versus
Navy football match in 1963.
First sporting event that used electronic line judge – the
championship finals of both the Men’s World Championship Tennis
in Dallas in May 1974, and the Ladies’ Virginia Slims tournament in
Los Angeles the same year.
Radar invented by Andreas Doppler in 1842
Adopted for baseball in 1974 by Danny Litwhiler and
John Paulson to measure the speed at which the ball
First sports event that used the radar gun –
unconfirmed, but possibly a Michigan State University
match against Florida’s Orioles in the US in 1975.
Invented by IBM in 1992, the IBM Simon
Tablets became popular after 2000.
Made the Internet – and therefore also sports
coverage and information – more widely accessible.
First sporting event viewed by cell phone –
The future …
Data debuts along with digital computing,
networking, and software, around 1950s
The digital age is the golden era of data,
processed in scalable, networked computing
environments made possible by cloud .
In sports, live-tracking data measures
everything from speed of movement, to
weather conditions, to geo-positioning
through GPS, to athlete biometrics.
Example of sporting event revolutionised
through data – 2015 Tour de France,
measuring riders’ speed, distance between
riders, and position within the peloton.
E-sports to grow massively
Video games soar in popularity, gamers become sports stars, gathering
Prize money and viewership for e-gaming tournaments grow astronomically.
The rise of third venues
Viewing the event at specialised venues other than stadiums.
Fans experience events through 3D displays, interactive table-top tech,
augmented reality, holographs, and more.
Virtual reality becomes the norm
Sports fans experience what it feels like to be on the field, in the racing car,
or on the track.
Sporting world of the future is set to be completely immersive.
For more about how technology helps to revolutionise the world of sport,
follow us on Twitter: @DiDataSport