This weekend’s Super Bowl LII was reportedly one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played. With a final score of 41:33, the Philadelphia Eagles trounced their bitter rivals, the New England Patriots, to win their first Super Bowl title. Quite aside from who you support, or if you even understand the game of American Football, the 52nd Super Bowl is interesting from a technology perspective. We will see how the stats add up in the coming days and weeks, but undoubtedly this will have been one of the most technologically-enhanced games ever. Here are some of our favourite tech stories around the event.
Last year Extreme Networks logged 11.8 terabytes of data transferred across networks at the event, far surpassing the previous 10.12 terabyte record of 2016. Logically, this year’s usage is likely to have been higher as 70,000 people bought tickets for the game and most of these will have wanted wifi. It just goes to show that nowadays events happen as much in the digital sphere as real life.
Not Done Network
The National Football League (NFL) and teams are also looking for ways to use technology to engage more with fans. The New England Patriots went live with the first NFL team-specific streaming service to broadcast content recorded in the Mall of America to fans anywhere in the world, on any device, 24/7, throughout the weekend running up to the Super Bowl.
To ease the fan attendance journey, the new US Bank Stadium app included a stadium map, with your parking spot clearly marked, mobile ticketing, toilet waiting times, in-seat mobile ordering for refreshments and instant replay videos. For those fans looking for a last-minute ticket, StubHub added augmented reality to its iPhone app to take a close-up look at the stadium and the seats on offer.
Digital ordering – all the time, everywhere
Of course, brands popular with fans capitalised on the event and pizza company Dominos used the opportunity to push customers towards digital ordering. Domino’s gave customers 15 different ways to order digitally including Google Home; Amazon Alexa; Slack; Messenger; mobile app ordering; text; tweets; Ford Sync; Samsung Smart TV; voice ordering and smartwatches. In order words, if you have practically any internet-connected device in your house, you could probably order pizza through it.
The day before the Super Bowl saw the third annual ‘1st and Future’ competition, looking for start-ups developing protective equipment, products to improve performance and health care technology to help athletes recover. This year’s winners were a company which designs equipment to help absorb energy from hits; a creator of hot-cold therapy devices; and developers of an augmented reality app to use phone cameras to capture motion, measure athletic ability and evaluate injury risk. With the 2017 season seeing a season over season increase in concussions, this sort of technology innovation is critical to the sport.
Incidentally, Alexa has been rooting for the Eagles all along – clearly she too likes an underdog story.