Fanpics app displays SDSU innovation

by Kalah Siegel

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If anyone needs another reason to wake up at the crack of dawn to get tickets to watch the San Diego State men’s basketball team–here it is. The Fanpics experience is taking Viejas Arena by storm. This app has the potential to be the deciding factor between making it to the game or watching it from your couch.

Fanpics is an app connected to technology that takes pictures of eventful moments during sporting events. These pictures are impossible for fans to capture, because they aren’t of the players or the game–they’re of you.

Fanpics’ cameras are stationed around Viejas Arena. They snap a photo of each seat during the most exciting periods of the game. You have access to these photos after you download the free app and input your seat number. From there, you can share the photos on social media sites and make your friends that watched the game on TV deeply regret sleeping in on ticket sale day.

From home, people can see the sweat dripping down players’ faces on their HDTVs, drink their beers for much less than the stadium charges and stay in their pajamas. So what makes people attend sporting events when they can comfortably stay on the couch? The short answer is the experience of a live sporting event. You can’t put a price tag on being a part of the energy that flows through a stadium during the last minute of a tied game, but now you can take a picture of it. Fanpics enables you to frame one of the defining memories that make you proud to be an Aztec.

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That’s something worth getting yourself to the game for and something I’m excited about for my university.

 

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Fans seem to agree with me. Fanpics has been active for three games and there has been more than 1,000 downloads of the app already. This number should only grow, since even better things are coming to Fanpics, both short-term and long-term. Within the next few weeks, the hardware is being improved to take faster pictures and sharper images. As far as the company’s long-term goals–let’s just say the world had better get ready for Fanpics. The time is now for Aztecs to attend a game at Viejas Arena and see this new experience first-hand.

Viejas Arena is the first place on Earth to use this type of technology, but it won’t be the last. Students should be proud that their school is hosting this pilot program before the company launches its product into the global marketplace.

“Once we are ready to scale, we believe that if we’re delivering a really cool value, and delivering it in a really simply way, there is no reason that we shouldn’t be in every venue in the world. That’s the company goal,” Fanpics co-founder and SDSU alumni Marco Correia said. The Fanpics team is already in contact with 35 sporting organizations in the U.S. and Europe, and its goal is starting to become a reality.

[quote]As with any picture-taking technology, I had my concerns about security. However, my worries were put to rest. [/quote]From a legal standpoint, both the school and the company are covered. There are signs around Viejas Arena and messaging on the back of tickets notifying fans they might be photographed. Viejas Arena is a public place and pictures can be taken of anyone, and have been for years by newspaper photographers and the internal film crews.

“We want to elevate our privacy standards, provide that goodwill and good faith to the fans, and try to be on their side,” Correia said. Fanpics holds its security to a higher standard than simply being legal.  Fanpics co-founder Dan Magy clarified that Fanpics is already going above and beyond the industry standard. Other photo taking technologies at sporting events don’t come near the bar that Fanpics has set. Companies such as Fancam and Huggity take a 360-degree scan of the stadium. The fans can then scroll through the entire picture of the area searching for themselves, or look at any one of the thousands of other people in the venue. With Fanpics you get a picture of one seat, your seat. Sure five to six people might be around you, but that beats thousands of people having access to your photo.

In the near future, Fanpics will be raising its security standards even higher. The next upgrade will require users to access pictures through a code on the ticket, making it nearly impossible for anyone other than yourself to access photos of you. Furthermore, there will be a feature where you can opt to blur out your face. This will completely prevent anyone from finding a picture of you in the arena, abolishing any concerns you could possibly have with the application.

With security concerns currently being a hot topic, I understand why people are skeptical of this app, but I’m here to tell you to stop. Download Fanpics, attend a game, have a great time, and capture the moment forever. You’ll be glad you did in 25 years, because these are the moments you don’t want to forget.

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