Carnegie Mellon engineers create mobile video service

March 4, 2009

Carnegie Mellon University engineering faculty, Priya Narasimhan and Rajeev Gandhi, and their students have created a new, unique large-scale mobile wireless video service designed to enhance sports fans' experience at games.

"YinzCam" is designed to help fans select and view live video feeds from unique camera angles throughout a sporting arena, according to Narasimhan, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the university's Mobility Research Center. Rajeev Gandhi, a systems faculty researcher in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) and the Information Networking Institute, said YinzCam was a unique opportunity to apply research in the real world in a tangible, high-impact way.

Spurred by a dramatic rise in the demand for mobility services, Carnegie Mellon's YinzCam gives fans the ability to obtain mobile video, real-time action replays, game-time information, statistics and player bios right from their stadium or arena seats. YinzCam also scales to support real-time push and pull video delivery services to all fans in the arena.

"We have been extremely fortunate to work with a cutting-edge organization such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, and with the enthusiastic support and vision of Dave Soltesz, senior vice president of sales. In collaboration with the Penguins, we have launched a pilot at Mellon Arena, where hockey fans are currently using their wi-fi-based devices to enjoy YinzCam's features," Narasimhan said.

Kelsey Ho, a senior ECE student from Hawaii, said that this research will revolutionize the way fans can watch the game. Justin Beaver, a junior in ECE, enthusiastically adds, "Working on YinzCam has been a dream come true. Being able to work in the world of sports and watch sports fans use and enjoy something that I helped build has given me an experience that I will never forget."

"What is so great about this research is being able to combine our love of sports with technology that will ultimately improve lives," said Michael Chuang, a Ph.D. student in ECE from Los Angeles.

Carnegie Mellon researchers say the work fits nicely with the newly-created Mobility Research Center, where faculty and students conduct research to improve hardware and software technologies, including studies of how people work, play, shop, collaborate, and how new applications and services can change their lives.

"This project hardly feels like a research project. It is a chance to demonstrate everything Carnegie Mellon has taught me in a real-world application," said Karl Fu, a master's degree student in ECE from Detroit, Mich.

More information: To learn more about YinzCam, visit www.yinzcam.org or the Pittsburgh Penguins' Web site at penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NHLPage&id=29935 .

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

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