Stories tagged GPS technology

Apr
01
2011

Where's the puck?: There will be no more worries for hockey fans in the stands about losing sight of the hockey puck when using the new iPuck app.
Where's the puck?: There will be no more worries for hockey fans in the stands about losing sight of the hockey puck when using the new iPuck app.Courtesy Nicholas Moreau
Just in time for the start of the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs, the NHL has announced it is partnering with California-based Satellite Solutions, Inc., to offer hockey fans a new and exciting way to watch games.

“Starting this week, hockey fans will be able to download iPuck,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “Using global positioning system technology along with a special chip embedded in the puck, fans using iPuck on their phone or other mobile device will be alerted to a goal-scoring opportunity before the player even fires a shot on goal.

“With the speed and intensity of our sport, we realize that it’s not uncommon for fans to miss that split second when a shot is fired and a goal is scored,” the commissioner said. “iPuck is sort of like a smoke detector, alerting you that a goal chance is present just before it happens.”

How does this actually work?

The electronic chips embedded into the puck and the goal posts emit a signal that is picked up and triangulated through GPS systems. In milliseconds, that system calculates the angle that the puck is being directed and if there is potential for a shot to be on net.

“In effect, fans have about a third of a second advance warning that a goal might be scored and the chance to focus their attention on the net,” Bettmen said. “One of the biggest complaints we get about our game is that fans too often miss the rare goals that are scored.”

Currently, iPuck only works for spectators present at games at the arena, but within the next couple weeks, iPuck TV should also be available for use by fans watching games on television or through a satellite feed to their iPad or iPhone.

Today, Friday, April 1, is the first day downloads of iPuck are available on iTunes. The app sells for $4.99.

Says Don Rickles: "Do you really believe this crap you hockey puck!!!!"
Says Don Rickles: "Do you really believe this crap you hockey puck!!!!"Courtesy Wikipedia
Fans will have their first opportunity to try out iPuck at Saturday’s Tampa Bay Lightning/Minnesota Wild game at Excel Energy Center. To commemorate the historic occasion, comedian and noted hockey puck fan Don Rickles will drop the ceremonial first puck.

“I am so glad to be associated with taking hockey pucks to this next level,” Rickles said. “And to realize that so many people are reading this item posted on April Fool’s Day and believe that this could really happen. What a bunch of hockey pucks.”

If iPuck is successful, the NHL has plans to develop iFight, which would embed the same technology into the gloves of notorious hockey fighters, alerting fans when those players are loosening their gloves and getting ready to punch out a hated foe.