Clayton Dyer Vision Paper
May 9, 2016
Rick was tired. He had been in the offices of the Samsung Digital Streaming Network for almost eleven hours. SDSN controlled the digital live streaming of almost 20 sporting events a night. The company, which had begun to grow dramatically since the steady decline of the television industry a few years earlier, live streams numerous sporting events, including games from the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association. SDSN 360 camera rigs were placed at numerous locations throughout various sports stadiums – in NHL arenas there were four cameras; one on the glass near the red line, one behind each of the goals, and one higher up in the stadium on the red line that offered a more complete view of the rink. A similar setup was used in NBA stadiums; one 360 rig was placed on each baseline while a third was located on the floor right at center court. The setup at MLB stadiums was slightly different; one 360 rig was located directly behind home plate, one was placed a few rows up on the third baseline (right behind third base) as well in the same location on the first baseline, and a fourth and final camera was placed slightly lower than where the broadcast booths used to be around home plate. Those broadcast booths were empty nowadays, however, as all play-by-play and color commentary was done remotely, synced up with the live stream of the game. Funny how times change…
Streaming sports games live directly to user’s Samsung GearVR 4.0 headsets took a lot of bandwidth. Add on the fact that users could switch camera angles on the fly with a swipe of a finger and you have a whole mess of problems for engineers and coders. That wasn’t Rick’s area of expertise, however. Rick worked in the graphics department at SDSN, and he primarily worked on adding lower third graphics and full screens into the broadcasts.
Rick was particularly tired this morning because the Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks game and the St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars game matchup had both gone into overtime (the Predators’ game ended up going into triple overtime). Rick had worked through the night, creating and adding graphics on the fly for hours on end, and had to work on the additional intermission reports and postgame shows that were needed because of the numerous overtimes.
Rick looked at his Samsung Universe S7 phone. The time was 4:42AM. He had gotten in at 6:00PM the previous day.
At that moment his phone buzzed. It was one of his good friends, Winston, texting him.
“You still at work?” he asked.
Rick spoke into Samsung VR headset he was wearing which allowed him to view graphics directly in front of his face… as well as text.
“Yeah… I’m almost done though. Absolutely exhausted,” He said.
“Damn, I can only imagine. Text me when you get home, I want to show you something,” Winston replied.
“Sounds good,” Rick tiredly said before closing his texting application by tapping on the side of his headset and immediately rubbing his eyes.
Just at that moment the executive producer of the show Rick worked for at SDSN, O’Brien, walked up to his cubicle.
“You’re still here?” he asked.
“Yeah, had to wrap up the coverage of the Predators game,” Rick replied.
“Geeze, well you can get out of here, you’ve been here way too long,” O’Brien said.
“Sounds good, I’ll see you tomorrow night,” Rick replied, relieved to finally be headed home.
Rick locked his headset in one of the drawers at his desk (he had another one at home, perks of working for a streaming network owned by Samsung), took the elevator down to the lobby and walked out of the building. He hopped into his Tesla car and started the engine by saying the command, “Tesla, start”.
“Good morning, Rick. Where would you like to go?” his Tesla asked him.
“Home,” Rick curtly replied.
He had always loved driving when he was younger, but Tesla’s self-driving cars made his life exponentially easier. Ever since human-controlled cars had been banned several years earlier there had been nothing but positive changes to driving, such as fewer accidents and less traffic. Rick’s favorite aspect of these self-driving cars, however, was the fact that he could sleep on his drive home.
As soon as the car started to pull out of the parking spot, a holographic screen popped up on the windshield. Using his finger to tap and select commands, Rick flipped through the various channels before he landed on the Tesla version of the SDSN show that he worked for. The late night show was recapping the Predators’ game that Rick had just been working on. He didn’t care that much though – he had just worked all night covering the game – so he closed his eyes and quickly fell asleep.
* * * * *
Rick’s nap didn’t last that long.
“You have arrived at your destination,” his Tesla chirped, startling him.
Rick told his car to power down as he climbed out of the “driver’s seat” and walked up to his apartment complex. He slowly walked through the lobby and took the elevator to his apartment on the 42nd floor.
When he walked in to his apartment he threw his keys onto the kitchen counter, grabbed his Microsoft Hololens from the table, and nestled it down onto his head. Although Rick worked for Samsung he loved the Hololens, and used it frequently while he was home.
Rick opened up his go-to apps – Twitter, texting, email, Snapchat, and whatever sports show was on at the moment – placed the virtual screens on the four walls of his kitchen, and placed a fifth on top of the counter.
Rick walked over to the started making a cup of coffee to wake himself up when he heard his texting app make a sound that notified him that he had received a message. He turned toward the wall that displayed the app and saw that Winston had texted him.
“You home? I can be there in 5,” Winston said.
Rick brought up a keyboard in front of him using his Hololens to text back.
“Just got home, I’m tired as hell but c’mon over,” he replied.
Rick poured himself a cup of coffee and started scrolling through Twitter, using his finger to scroll down the virtual page he had placed on the wall. Most of his feed was filled with people talking about the Predators game the night before. Rick mindlessly scrolled through the seemingly endless list of Tweets – he didn’t need to read more about something he worked on all of the previous night, but he couldn’t stop aimlessly scrolling through Twitter.
His trance was broken by a ding produced by his Hololens. It was his virtual doorbell. A virtual screen popped up in front of his face with a live feed of Winston at his front door. Rick tapped a button next to the video that opened the front door to his apartment complex and Winston walked in.
Rick powered down his Hololens and placed it on the counter as he waited for Winston to arrive.
When Winston opened the door Rick’s attention turned to what was in his friend’s hand – a drone.
“Dude, where did you get that?” he asked him.
“Just bought it yesterday! I had some extra money after I got my last paycheck so I figured why not. I read up on how to fly it and operate it earlier and I was trying a bit by my apartment. Want to give it a shot?” Winston replied.
“Uhh… sure,” Rick replied hesitantly, “but aren’t there tight regulations on flying those?”
“Yeah but I think we should be fine behind your building, we shouldn’t get in trouble there,” Winston confidently responded.
“If you say so man,” Rick said, “but if we get in trouble it’s on you.”
“Fine, fine,” Winston laughed, “let’s go!”
The two headed the grass square behind Rick’s apartment complex. It was one of the few patches of grass left in his neighborhood, but Rick rarely spent time there – his time was spent at work, flopped on his couch with his Hololens on, and sleeping… when he could.
Winston powered on the drone, handed Rick an iPad that displayed a live video feed captured by the GoPro attached to the device, and began to lift the drone off the ground. Winston began to make the drone ascend into the sky, slowly at first but soon quickly. Rick looked down at the screen and could see his apartment building as the drone rose higher.
“There’s my flat!” Rick said as he saw the drone pass by the 42nd floor.
Soon Winston’s drone rose above the building, which was 60 floors high.
“Don’t you think you’re going a little too high? I think Amazon and UPS drones sometime pass over the building on their routes from the packaging facilities,” Rick asked.
“No I think we’re fine, you need to be like 500 feet off the ground before there’s a prob—”
Winston’s reply was cut off by the loud sound of a siren. The two shot their gaze up to the drone and watched as an FAA monitor drone approached it rapidly.
“You are 20 feet above the maximum height allowed for recreational use,” a robotic voice said from the iPad in Rick’s hand.
He glanced down and saw that the voice had come from the FAA drone, which he could see in the video feed coming from Winston’s drone. He shot a smirk over at Winston, who laughed and shrugged.
“Return to the ground immediately,” the FAA drone said.
Winston quickly lowered his drone to the ground, but had yet to practicing landing a drone from that height. The ground quickly approached and Winston wasn’t able to stop the drone in time before it crashed onto the ground.
“Shit!” he yelled, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“Don’t worry I’m sure we can place a 3D printing order to fix any of the parts,” Rick said, “I needed a part replaced for my Dyson fan a few weeks ago and a store downtown had it made in like a day.”
“All right fine, fine,” Winston said dejectedly, “it just sucks.”
“I know man,” Rick responded.
“Well, I think the Arsenal match is about to start, want to go check it out?” Winston asked.
“Sure dude,” Rick said back, eager to cheer up his friend.
The two headed back to Rick’s apartment and placed Samsung GearVR 4.0 headsets on their heads. Rick always had an extra pair lying around so the two could watch movies and sporting events together.
They both flipped over to SDSN, which was live streaming the soccer match from their London-based tech headquarters. The display in front of their eyes soon was a live 360 video from the front row of the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal was playing the Tottenham Hotspurs. Rick and Winston’s view had placed them both right at the midline of the field. The game had just started.
“You down on the midline?” Rick asked.
“No, I like a higher view,” Winston replied, “I’m up in the second deck.”
Several minutes passed before Olivier Giroud scored for Arsenal.
“Woah!” Winston yelled, “what a goal!”
Rick didn’t say anything.
“Bro, did you see that?” Winston asked.
Winston took off his headset and looked over at his friend. Rick was fast asleep.