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SchuttVision in the NFL, what’s next for the technology

Article Source - First Down Line Part 3

Editor’s note: This story is the final piece in a three-part series regarding Sports Video Innovations (SVI) and Schutt Vision, the new high-tech helmet camera being used by major college football programs across the country, the Arena Football League and the NFL.

SVI CEO and co-founder JR Liverman spent an hour-long hangout (Google+) with FirstDown|Line sharing insight, background and perspective on his piece of sports technology taking football by storm.

By Brett A. Sommers

It’s not a matter of if, but when.

The helmet cam phenomena that has encapsulated college football around the country will make its way into the NFL in the near future, according to Schutt Vision creator and CEO and co-founder of Sports Video Innovations JR Liverman.

While fans have gotten fantastic first-person views from some of the country’s biggest football programs, like the University of Miami, the spread of Schutt Vision is set to increase as the Arena Football League has already used the technology in games, and the NFL looks to begin its heaviest use yet in spring practices.

“The NFL has been supportive from an interest perspective since November of (2013),” Liverman said. “They asked for additional testing, which we did. I think they want to see how teams utilize it in mini camps.

“We are going to push to have it used sometime in the 2014 season. We will do the same with the NCAA.”

Liverman’s biggest hope for the upcoming NCAA and NFL seasons is that Schutt Vision will be used in live, in-game action.

The AFL has already used Schutt Vision CBS Sports Network televised games, but the exposure to fans of major college football and the NFL would certainly raise SVI’s profile to another level.

“The goal has always been for football fans in the NFL or NCAA to go to their favorite game and see replays from a player’s perspective in stadium on the replay boards, via their smartphone and tablet applications and at home as well,” Liverman said. “I think that has always been our biggest goal.”

While Liverman hopes the technology will surface during regular season play, that is the biggest unknown variable, right now.

“No one at the NFL or NCAA has ever said to us this will never see the football field in game conditions,” Liverman said. “The question is whether or not it will be 2014 or subsequent season.”

While the retail price tag that ranges from $1,200-1,500 will likely keep the technology from a majority of the high school football ranks, for now, the gridiron won’t be the only place to find Schutt Vision for long.

As the technology has advanced, Liverman said discussions have popped up in unexpected places, all of which deserve consideration.

Among the obvious are hockey, lacrosse and baseball, but how about horse racing?

“We have had discussions for construction hard hats. We have also heard from companies we didn’t think about — equestrian helmets, jockey helmets, law enforcement,” Liverman said. “There are a lot of different areas we can go in. We are going to do our due diligence on all of them and decide which ones are the next best step for us and our partners at Schutt (Sports).

“Someone goes and places (the camera) on a horse and can not only watch the race from a simulcast view or a television view, but can see from the view of the jockey riding the horse. I think that is something that would be very valuable from a broadcast standpoint.”

It’s certainly been a wild ride for Liverman who first came up with the idea for Schutt Vision from a recurring dream.

Now the possibilities seem endless.

“From my standpoint it’s been a tremendous learning experience from the technology side,” Liverman said.

Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 in this Schutt Vision series.


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