June 15, 2013

Software Makes Everything Better

Helix ALM
The San Francisco 49ers new stadium will be "software driven", which sounds pretty cool. As TV has gotten better, it's become harder and harder to justify spending money going to live sporting events. TV provides multiple viewing angles, gets you closer to the action, and lets you watch multiple games at the same time. Add in the ridiculous cost of tickets, parking, and food at pretty much any sporting event, and it's not hard to see why more and more folks are opting out of live events. This approach by the 49ers appears to be an effort to combat that trend by giving fans more than just the typical live sporting experience of long lines and distant views of the action. Using software to enhance the user experience of a physical good is nothing new (bought a car lately?), but this is the first time I've seen it so prominently talked about in the sporting world. From the article:
For example, while you’re in the stadium, you can connect to its wireless network using your smartphone or tablet to watch the game via any of the many 4K (high-resolution) video cameras installed throughout the facility. You could pick a point of view that offers a better vantage point than your seat, you could watch closeups of the plays, or you could conceivably tune in to players’ helmet cams...The 49ers are also promising that the stadium infrastructure will help fans find food choices within the stadium or potentially connect with other fans via social media. It plans to offer people the option of getting digital tickets or paper ones, and it will even provide routing assistance to help you find the best travel route to the game before you even leave home.
That actually sounds both exciting and useful! They're giving fans at the stadium the same or better viewing options as their counterparts at home, and also building on the social aspect of attending a live event. If you're in the business of enhancing a physical product with software, things get complex pretty quickly and most organizations aren't fully prepared for that complexity. If that describes your organization, you should check out TestTrack. When hardware and software mix, TestTrack really shines in streamlining the product development process. TestTrack can help you create requirements, verify and validate those requirements, find and fix issues, manage risk, and trace all of those artifacts without interrupting daily activities.