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Google Glass at the Ballgame

By Allen Race

America's favorite pastime may be steeped in tradition, but that doesn't mean a little technology can't enhance the game. As baseball season approaches its exciting conclusion, fans can look forward to 2014, the year when an exciting Google Glass app will provide an unprecedented experience at the ballpark. It's called Blue, an information program that geolocates what park you're at and delivers useful game information to a small display screen in the corner of your view.

Blue provides fans with all the details you need to follow a game, including at-bat details, pitch velocity, play recaps and real-time scores. Blue has a chance to re-invent the ballpark experience, combining the irreplaceable sights and sounds of a live game with the information we're accustomed to when watching at home.

Google Glass

Blue is one of the first third-party app demos for Google Glass, Google's cutting-edge accessory set for release in 2014. Beta versions of Google Glass are out now, but next year's refined consumer device should be a significant step forward in innovation. The search giant's futuristic device brings an array of smartphone features from your pocket to eye level. Glass can take pictures, record video, provide directions, and search Google through simple voice commands. Simply say, "OK Glass," followed by a command, and the device springs into action.

Critics claim that these awkward spectacles won't catch on like Google hopes, but based on the recent slew of smart wristbands, watches and glasses, it's safe to predict consumers will give anything a chance if it digitally enhances their lives.

Blue at the Ballgame

All baseball fans agree — there's nothing like a live baseball game. The smell of hot dogs and the sound of peanut vendors are timeless. As baseball remains a beloved sport, TV providers have raised their game too. It doesn't sound so bad to watch a game in front of a high-definition TV that offers instant replays, especially considering how much cheaper it is to eat in your kitchen as compared to the concession stand.

Blue might not make beer any cheaper, but it does inject modern details that help fans keep track of the game. In the demo below, Blue reacts instantly after every play. In reality, its performance will depend largely on the Wi-Fi connection within a ballpark. Wi-Fi is taking great strides forward, and soon we could experience Fios availability in every Major League ballpark. Until then, though, Blue's success could vary from stadium to stadium.

Don't be surprised if you see fans wearing futuristic spectacles at the game next year. They'll be tuned in to the action from the first pitch.

Allen grew up going to Cubs games with his dad and writes about sports today.

(AP Photo)

Allen Race
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