DURHAM, N.C. -- As the 2013 PGA Tour season gets under way, SMT, the leading provider of data integration, graphics presentation and video enhancement solutions for live sports, is launching a suite of innovative golf products.
Fans watching the 2013 PGA Tour season on the Golf Channel and NBC will have a chance to see SMT's:
• Virtual Driving Grid: a system that displays an on-screen graphic that shows yardage markers and the distance of a player's tee shot
• 3D Landing Zone: a system that produces a real-time graphic predicting where a tee shot will land on a par-3 green
• PuttVision™: a system that displays the optimal putting line on a 3D model of the green
Beginning with January's Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii, SMT rolled out the Driving Grid, a virtual graphic presentation that highlights drive distances. The virtual grid has been compared to the yellow first down line used in NFL broadcasts and displays statistics including the longest and shortest drives of the day. The technology can also be used to determine and display a graphic highlighting the distance of any drive as the ball rolls to a complete stop.
Fans watching NBC and the Golf Channel's coverage at last week's Waste Management Phoenix Open witnessed SMT's Landing Zone technology, which predicts ¬¬where the golf ball will land on the green while the ball is in flight. SMT's graphic system will generate and display a landing target within one second of the ball being struck on the tee. The technology is a partnership between SMT and Trackman Golf and will be featured during Golf Channel's "Spotlight" bonus coverage at key PGA Tour events in 2013.
Golf Channel's coverage of the upcoming AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will feature SMT's PuttVision, which was rolled out to tremendous effect in January during the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif. By displaying the optimal putting line as a 3D virtual scene, viewers can see the complex topography of each green as well as the view the golfer has from behind the putt. PuttVision will ultimately be available on all 18 holes giving the Golf Channel production the flexibility to utilize the tool on any putt from any hole.
"Prior to our new technology, the information available on each putt was very limiting and only available on a few holes," said Don Tupper, vice president of business development at SMT. "With PuttVision, various new data points are available, including break and speed which will allow us to develop an entirely unique set of statistics for measuring putt difficulty and make percentage."
"We have embraced SMT's technology because we can clearly see the potential moving forward," said Scott Armstrong, director of tournament graphics and technology for the Golf Channel. "SMT has only begun to scratch the surface: their technology opens up the possibilities for us to expand our technology portfolio to deliver more compelling content to share with golf fans."
Founded in 1992, SMT pioneered the first real-time scoring and wireless data system that allowed fans, media and broadcasters to interact with live data displays at PGA Tour events. SMT continues to develop and deliver customized products and services to enhance the production quality and viewers' experience of sports and entertainment events. The company has won 20 Emmy awards since 1993. SMT's solutions have been used at the most prestigious live events including the Super Bowl, NBC Sunday Night Football, the Indianapolis 500, the NCAA Final Four, ESPN X Games, NBA on TNT, NASCAR and NHL. SMT's customers include all major broadcast television companies as well as several regional and specialty networks. For more information, visit www.smt.com.
VP, SMT Marketing