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Indiana Pacers improve the fan experience with Google Glass

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The NBA's Indiana Pacers couldn't be more pleased less than one month into their "Google Glass Experiment."

For just a moment, let's forget about privacy issues, the clunky look, and an interface that is far from perfect. I have now found the first environment where Google Glass makes sense.

Google Glass actually brings quite a bit to the game day and fan experience at a sporting event.

Powered by software from the San Francisco-based startup CrowdOptic, the Pacers are giving fans at Banker's Life Fieldhouse a perspective they've never had before at a basketball game.

Want to see the game from the vantage point of a cheerleader, or in this case a Pacemate? How about the view of one of the dunk team members? When the NBA officials come over to the monitor on the scorer's table to look at a instant replay review, do you want to see their reactions and lips move in real-time?

I do, and so do the fans in Banker's Life Fieldhouse.

The Indiana Pacers are using 11 Google Glass units at home games during the 2014 NBA Playoffs and Vice President of Marketing at Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Rob Laycock says everyone wants to get involved.

"It brings an excitement. I even went to the public library last week and invited for free to came and check it out and see what we are doing. We had 85 people and I thought I was going to speak for 15 to 20 minutes and I ended up getting 40 questions."

At some point, Laycock said he just invited people to come up and put on the Glass.

How do the people wearing the Google Glass during the game feel about the new technology?

Ray Lucas and his wife Shannon, Pacers season ticket holders from Indianapolis were two of the fans selected to wear a pair of Google Glass during the April 22 game. Sitting in "Area 55," a special section for crazy and loyal Pacers fans, the couple was able to give the perspective from a section that never sits during the game and featured non-stop cheering.

The shots taken by the Google Glass hit the massive big screen above the court in real time.

Sometimes it's tough deciding what to put up on the big screen since there are so many unique views and angles to choose from.

"We have someone making a call on what goes live (on the scoreboard), explains Laycock. "We made that call early on."

Even though there is still an "unknown" about Google Glass as a consumer product, sports is one arena where it shines and other teams want in on the action.

"The Orlando Magic have called and they now have the Glass and we were there when the Sacramento Kings launched it; and they have called us since to see how we are using it."

The night I saw saw Google Glass in action was Game 2 of the first round series between the Pacers and Atlanta Hawks.

The Pacers stormed back erasing a 11-point deficit to take a 101-85 victory, but in the long run, Google Glass and CrowdOptic may be the big winners along with sports fans everywhere.

"It's new," said Lucas. "But it's great the Pacers want the fans to participate and see a different side of an NBA game."

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