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Google Glass Gives NBA Fans 'First-Hand' Views

Hawks Versus Pacers Basketball

Hawks Versus Pacers Basketball

From VOA Learning English, this is As It Is! I’m Anna Matteo in Washington.

Technology is changing many parts of our lives: from Skype lessons in the classroom to cars that talk to us.

Today, we hear how Google is working with the National Basketball Association to change the way fans experience top-level basketball, all with technology.

Here’s Jim Tedder with more on that story.

The Indianapolis Pacers are the first team in the NBA to use Google Glass to improve the experience of watching a game.

Google Glass is the latest in technology that you can wear. Most of the technologies for Google Glass are already available on smartphones. Google has taken those technologies and added them to eye glass frames.

Chris Dale is the Senior Manager of Communications for Google Glass.
Google co-rounder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass glasses. Which sounds redundant.

Google co-rounder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass glasses. Which sounds redundant.

“Google Glass is a tiny computer that sits in a lightweight frame and rests neatly above your eye. And it makes exploring and sharing the world around you a lot easier.”

The glasses have a very small video display and a camera that connects wirelessly to the Internet through WiFi, a smartphone or a tablet computer.

When NBA players wear Google Glass during a game, fans can see what it is like to be a professional basketball player. They can see video of what it is like to dribble down the court, or to make a game-winning shot.

Indiana Pacers fans saw first-person views of important moments in their team’s exciting 84-83 victory against the Miami Heat. Coaches can wear Google Glass to provide video from the sidelines where it is impossible to fit larger video cameras. The Indiana Pacers also gave Google Glass to famous people who attend the team’s games to show the action from seats near the basketball court.
Imagine seeing this shot from the players' points of view.

Imagine seeing this shot from the players' points of view.

But not everyone is excited about Google Glass. Some are concerned about privacy violations. John Simpson is the director of the privacy project at Consumer Watchdog.

“It is essentially going to allow people to come in and spy on you and record that without you knowing what is going on.”

Google says that it has already dealt with that concern. Mr. Dale explained that in order to start the camera or record a video, the owner must say something out loud.

“I activate the device, and say ‘Okay, glass, take a picture.’ Similarly, I have a little button on the top here that I can push that will again show an explicit gesture to everybody around me that a picture is being taken or a video is being recorded.”

Privacy concerns will not be a question for the Pacer’s use of Google Glass. Everything and everyone recorded will be shown on a huge screen in the arena for all to see.

I’m Jim Tedder.

Thanks, Jim. And I’m Anna Matteo. You are listening to As It Is.

Giving fans a courtside view is one way the NBA is using Google Glass. Can you think of any others? Be creative! Be innovative! Think out of the box! And let us know in our comment section.

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