Action Audio Apps: How One Company Hopes to Change How We Experience Live Sports
Published on Jul 16, 2013 by Amy Cassell
One of the benefits of watching sports at home is the live coverage that accompanies it: stats updated in real-time, expert commentary, and behind-the-scenes interviews. These are all added features you lose when you go see a game live. And while some argue that actually being at the game is the best, wouldn't it be great if you could somehow still get all of the extras that come with the televised broadcast, too?
According to Action Audio Apps, you can. The New York-based company has created the very first Smartphone app of its kind that allows spectators at live sporting events to have access to in-game sound and commentary. They produce an entire live show during the game, which includes live audio from mic'd players and coaches. Everything is transmitted via WiFi to spectators' mobile devices.
"Back in the 90s, I was working with NASCAR and was very excited about how people used scanners to listen to the drivers," Sebastian Failla, the co-founder and CEO of Action Audio Apps, told us during a recent visit to Full Sail. "I thought it was a really cool concept."
Sebastian started experimenting with low-level broadcasts on deadband frequencies in the late 90s, but it wasn't until recently – with the advent of Smartphone technology and WiFi – that developing the app he had envisioned became more realistic. Action Audio Apps was officially founded last year.
The company uses Quantum5X microphones attached to players and coaches and an on-site audio and video team to gather live footage that is available exclusively to spectators at the game. Users just download the app and plug their headphones into their phones to get real-time audio footage and commentary from the field. Another feature of the app, The Locker, allows users to access highlights, video and audio clips, and other bonus features from the game later in the week.
"It enhances the experience of what the game is really like," says Sebastian. "You get that live sound from the field and insider commentary on what's going on."
The app is currently being tested by a few teams in a few markets, including with the Danbury Whalers minor league hockey team and here in Central Florida with the Orlando Predators arena football team. According to Sebastian, they've gotten lots of positive feedback and have even received some interest from other professional franchises too, including the NFL. Some have had concern about protecting strategic information shared during the games, which is why onsite producers can monitor and edit out those bits of information in real time.
While in town recently for one of the Orlando Predators games, Sebastian toured Full Sail's campus and met with the Career Development team. As Action Audio Apps expands, they will have a growing need for experienced techs to help produce live shows. They're looking for audio techs that know how to do sound, place microphones, run the board, and collect audio for archiving and editing. There will also be a need for videographers, graphic designers, and website designers.
"We have a unique product that's a lot of fun and that adds value to a live event," says Sebastian. "It's going to continue to grow as people are more aware of what we do."
What do you think? Would you use Action Audio Apps at a game? Do you think it's a concept that has the ability to take off?