Credit Google for making something that’s years old seem brand new again. The ability to record head-mounted POV footage is nothing especially revolutionary, but when it costs $1,500 and makes you feel like a fighter pilot on the streets of your neighborhood, there’s some excitement to be felt.
And now that Google Glass is starting to get some time in the general population, we’re starting to see how it’s going to impact our viewing habits—or, more precisely, what the Next Great Sports Gimmick is going to look like. If this tech works as advertised, and is only (cough) going to sell for $1,500, then sports fans are going to see this implemented everywhere imaginable. At first, it’ll be limited to fringe-y exhibition events. You can bet this summer’s Home Run Derby will feature some combination of catcher, batter, and/or pitcher wearing the devices. Next year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest, which is where all the sports stunts eventually come to roost, will almost assuredly feature one of the participants wearing the tech. (As for who it will be, you can submit your guesses now.) The NHL’s Skills Competition, quarterbacks in the Pro Bowl, and pretty much any referee in any sport are all fair game. Kentucky Derby jockeys? Probably not enough advance notice to get them into this weekend’s go-around, but there’s always next year.
Although, we could be completely sick of this a year from now, the novelty of the imagery completely worn away. In fact, there’s a very good chance, should all this multi-sport saturation come to pass, that we’ll be over this kind of application in short order. What started out with surfers, bikers, and snowboarders with GoPro head mounts has turned into something much more ubiquitous and hip. But fads, even cool ones, come and go, and frankly, once you see one first-person video of LeBron going coast to coast on a breakaway, you’ll essentially have seen them all.
But let’s enjoy the trend while it holds our attention. We may know what’s coming, but, for now, we’ll watch.