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Helmets with Built-In Cameras Are Coming to College Football and the NFL

Article Source - Sport Techie

Link to story: http://www.sporttechie.com/2015/03/02/helmets-with-built-in-cameras-are-coming-to-college-football-and-the-nfl/

In lieu of Sports Video Innovations’ (SVI) release of SchuttVision 2.0, I had the opportunity to speak to the Chief Executive Officer, Jeremey Jeansonne – He explains how SVI revolutionized the innovative helmet, the company’s success in its first go-around, and expansion to the NFL and NCAA in 2015.


When Jeremey Jeansonne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sports Video Innovations (SVI) listened to his partner, JR’s dream of a football helmet with a built-in camera, he said it was an incredible idea–but thought was everybody else thought: that this had already been done and that they’re late to the ballgame.

After research and searching through patents, they figured out that this has never been done before, so they began the process of finding money–they found angel investors and seed investors, and built a proof of concept.

SVI hired freelance engineers who put it together, using many off-the-shelf components, mixed and matched just to get it working.

“Through that time, we figured out we had no idea about helmets and its safeness, so we learned very early on that we were going to have to partner with a helmet manufacturer and that’s when we contacted Schutt and organized a meeting with their Board, Directors, and the CEO”, said Jeansonne.

They presented their proof of concept–Schutt Sports saw the helmet’s potential and formed a partnership.

In January 2013, the R&D and engineering began for SchuttVision 1.0, which featured a 64-degree field of view with only an SD card. Their biggest challenge, however, was making the helmet National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) compliant.

It was finally introduced at the American Football Coaches Association Convention in 2014, where it got a great response.

Afterward, they immediately started selling to colleges and a few NFL teams for practice situations; also made a deal with the Arena Football League for the 2014 season, so the SchuttVision can be worn in live games. There were five games on CBS Sports and ESPN that the helmet was broadcasted in. The helmet showed shots from the camera during the game, but there was a between a seven to eight minute delay in using the footage after the play occurred.

Jeansonne received feedback from the field and what the coaches wanted to improve about the helmet included: better stabilization, more field of view, seamless uploading, and a way to stop recording of the helmet. So, they did not have three to four hours of film to go through when editing the video. The biggest compliment Jeansonne received was the helmet was unobtrusive.

“Everyone’s complimented on its very unobtrusive, its lightness, and how it looks. It’s a balanced weight in the helmet, so your head is not going to teeter-totter in any way–literally the game-changer that everybody’s been looking for in helmets, with a camera system that is just safe,” Jeansonne recalled.

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Jeansonne took all of it into consideration for improvements and enhancements for the SchuttVision 2.0, the streaming and wireless version, which was launched last month. The newest version features a wider 100 degree field of view for better stability, a mobile application for the team’s video editors and programmers, and live streaming capabilities.

Looking Ahead in 2015 – Talking Enhancements and Growing SchuttVision with Jeremey Jeansonne.

SchuttVision Recording Audio

“We left out audio for many reasons; mainly because we haven’t been asked to put audio in it. Maybe in the future, but for now, we’re going to leave it out because it brings the action too close. It’s a dissonance, you know–when you see somebody get hit and you watch it, you can hear some of the brutal hits in football–it’s not as glorious to the networks when marketing.”

SchuttVision Upgrading from 720p to 1080p Camera

“That’s going to be a goal for this year: to upgrade the fps from 30 to 60, and up to 1080p. We are going to upgrade the lenses by the end of the year. We’re also developing software on the receiving end, where you can store it on your laptop. ”

Building on Its Football Partnerships

“We’re just trying to get it out there more. That’s the main goal for the next six to eight months, get it out in more hands. The NCAA, they’re working on a deal to get it into five to six bowl games this season, so that will be huge for us. Also, using Tomcat post production to really get feedback from the fans, and if this is something they want or desire.

Football teams in high school can use the helmet in practice, but cannot use it in games. Like college, they have to be provisioned in the rules and there’s a really big grey area in high school (in regards to competitive landscape), so they try to keep it as fair as possible”

Expanding to Other Sports

SVI’s short-term goal in the first four to five years is to integrate to football helmets throughout all levels of play. Naturally, as it continues to grow, the company can start integrating to other sports.

“Right now, we’re already going into baseball–we’ve already built a prototype for a catcher’s mask. And we’re going into hockey in the fall within the next six to eight months, so we’re moving fast and moving into every sport we possibly can.”

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