Verizon tests how 5G can bring hockey fans real-time stats in arenas

Verizon tests how 5G can bring hockey fans real-time stats in arenas

Verizon is testing how 5G Ultra Wideband can bring hockey fans in the stands closer to the action on the ice by giving them real-time player stats when they point their 5G phone at the action in the rink.

The company has been using 5G and mobile edge compute to power select trials for in-venue, interactive applications with the National Hockey League (NHL), such as real-time access to video highlights and player tracking data using augmented reality (AR).

As part of Verizon’s official 5G partnership with the NHL®, Verizon is currently working with arena operators to install Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband in select U.S. NHL arenas to bring the power of 5G to center ice.

Verizon recently tested an AR fan experience that leverages 5G Edge, a mobile edge computing platform, at a New Jersey Devils game at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. With immersiv.io’s AR application, ARISE, running on Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, testers were able to point their 5G device at any player on the ice and see real-time stats overlaid in AR, such as player speed, time on ice, historical stats and more.

The experience was run on two 5G phones side by side. One leveraged Verizon 5G Edge and the other pulled stats from the public cloud. With 5G Edge, testers saw a roughly 35% improvement in end-to-end latency, meaning, stats could be viewed virtually instantaneously with minimal staggering or lag and stats were updated in real-time as the game progressed.

“Hockey is such a fast-paced game that only 5G and edge compute can provide real-time stats or multiple camera angles personalized to each fan in the stands on their phone,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer at Verizon. “We’re developing cutting-edge applications powered by 5G, mobile edge compute and AR now so that when more fans return to venues, there will be new benefits to the live experience.”

“NHL fans are extremely tech savvy, they love the speed of the game and they’re always looking for cool ways to get as close to our players and the action as possible,” said Dave Lehanski, NHL Executive Vice President, Business Development and Innovation. “The tremendous capabilities being demonstrated by Verizon 5G and edge compute are paving the way for us to provide fans with new experiences and unprecedented ways to consume live game content. These types of advancements are only possible with a world-class partner like Verizon, and we’re thrilled to be developing new innovations to enrich the live game environment through our collaborations. This is where the fun begins.”

“Results and learnings from the 5G Ultra Wideband and Edge Computing tests conducted at Prudential Center demonstrate the Devils and Verizon’s shared commitment to enhancing the game day experience by creating and providing engaging, educational and dynamic opportunities and next level insights for fans,” said New Jersey Devils President Jake Reynolds. “As the sport of hockey continues to grow, we are proud the Devils and Prudential Center were selected by Verizon to support an initiative with the ability to inform and excite the entire hockey ecosystem – from fans, to media, to team operations, and beyond. We remain impressed by and dedicated to this partnership with Verizon, and its commitment to innovation in hockey and enhancing the fan experience.”