Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Tracking The Game

03/14/2023 at 10:52am EDT

from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

For years, the NHL tried to figure out how to collect real-time data during games using technology. The 1990s saw the much-derided FoxTrax "glow puck," in which an array of infrared emitters and electronics were placed inside the puck. The NHL started seriously exploring puck and player tracking again in 2014, although its cost and some quality control problems with the pucks created growing pains.

The latest incarnation -- dubbed NHL Edge and powered by SMT -- has been the most successful version of puck and player tracking for the league. It collects data through sensors on player uniforms and inside the puck itself. There's also an optical tracking component that validates that data "within a few milliseconds," Lehanski said.

The data goes beyond player and puck location. The sensors measure speed and distance for skaters and on their shots, among other data points.

Now that it had a tracking system it was confident in, the NHL started chasing the big ideas it had for that data. For example, using real-time puck and player tracking to recreate a hockey game in a virtual 3D environment, with animated players and camera angles that couldn't be accomplished in the real world.

That was something a Netherlands-based company called Beyond Sports was already doing for professional soccer matches. The NHL partnered with the firm and began showing demonstrations of virtual hockey games, which could be viewed on screens or using VR goggles. The players were big and blocky. The action was slower than in an actual game. But the potential for the technology was obvious, and it has only been refined since then.

more, note the first part of the article is about the animated game tonight...

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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