College football is one of the most watched, biggest money-making sports in the US, second only to NFL football.
This year, NCAA college football is experimenting with collaborative replay review, which promises more accurate officiating and response to call challenges. In a high-stakes 12-game season where every call and yard count, the potential for increased officiating accuracy is game-changing.
For example, in an effort to reduce intentional player injuries, all possible targeting fouls are reviewed by an onsite official in collaboration with three officials in a remote video command center, utilizing instant replay and real-time communication technologies. For officials, as well as for players and coaches, it is critical that everyone is seeing the same thing and that confident, well-informed rulings are made quickly. And with a mandatory ejection penalty, it’s paramount to get the call right. Developing a common operating picture and collaborating efficiently are essential requirements for the technology.
Beyond officiating, collaboration technologies are being deployed in college football to improve everything from training and game management to competitive analysis and sports broadcasting. Digital video and enhanced collaboration tools allow coaching and analyst staff, who are often in multiple locations during a game, to immediately review plays together on the screen, create or revise play calling real-time, annotate directly on top video streams, and archive video for later analysis.
Beyond football and other sports, collaboration technologies are rapidly expanding across university campuses—from interactive kiosks to 4K whiteboards in classrooms to creative arts studios to connecting remote campuses. One of the most fascinating venues for collaboration technology emerging on college campuses are the makerspaces popping up in labs, libraries, and student centers.
Makerspaces are collaborative work spaces stocked with tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, hand tools, and welding equipment where participants can innovate, design, prototype, and build everything from practical devices to art. On campuses from Stanford and the University of Texas, Austin to North Carolina State University, USC, and Columbia, students use these studios to create tangible portfolio pieces to satisfy course requirements in engineering, architecture, design and art classes. Many find their work of interest to future employers. Increasingly, makerspaces are embracing virtual participation, using videoconferencing to provide input and inspiration from remote experts.
Portland State University created a high-tech collaboration space for students, researchers and community stakeholders to come together and work through ideas with large scale visualization technology. The university envisioned a place for local government and private companies to work alongside PSU researchers on a variety of projects that link data sets, visualization, and decisions. Their goal was to accelerate research and learning in areas such as forest fire prediction and prevention—where large-scale data visualization permits people to see patterns they otherwise could not predict or determine—and also to create a community resource available to host local businesses, such as architecture firms, or other regional stakeholders, such as first-responders. They created a 360-degree, large-scale view with InFocus Mondopads along four walls, a collaboration and video conferencing interactive board. The result is a high performance, multi-purpose room that allows researchers and community members to easily visualize data for individual or group work.
Some university makerspaces even enable teleoperation—the control of machinery from participants in distant locations. An emerging trend finds users from different campuses using collaboration technologies that include video, digital whiteboards, and shared CAD/CAM to collaborate on design/build projects, uniting teams across a wide range of disciplines and vast geographies.
The rapid evolution of collaboration technologies is changing the college experience on the gridiron and in the classroom. The library and the lab are becoming dynamic and deeply engaging resources that drive innovation and entrepreneurship, linking students across the campus and around the world.
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our digital newsletters!