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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Monday, June 10, 2013

ESPN adds intrigue to WNBA with "Ref Cam"

It's not a cyborg referee, it's ESPN's "Ref Cam"
I'll admit I don't watch much WNBA action, but something caught my eye from afar as I ran on the treadmill at my gym: The screen next to the Tigers game was showing eye-level  action — as shaky as it was — as a part of the replay during a WNBA game.
It was referee Lamont Simpson as the guinea pig for ESPN's "Ref Cam,", and he told The Associated Press the glasses were an easy adjustment to his routine.
"It was fun," Simpson said. "We made some adjustments at halftime and the second half it was almost like it wasn't there," he said.
After watching what was being called the "first wedding proposal using Google Glass" days earlier, I assumed ESPN and the WNBA were deploying the new technology on the hardwood. The network was not specific about the technology, but it doesn't appear to be Google's latest goggles or the popular Go Pro cameras made popular by extreme athletes.
The league is reportedly considering using the glasses in future games.
If Major League Baseball isn't about to surrender to instant replay, maybe it could consider using similar technology at least to share with viewers what umpires are seeing when they make atrocious calls.
Watch the camera's debut below: