Saturday, May 24, 2014

Verizon & IndyCar: Racing Into the Future Together

Turn back the calendar a few months and I thought, fab, the IndyCar Series nabs a title sponsor with more than 103 million retail connections, 1,700 retail locations, and $81 billion dollars in revenue--this is promising for raising the profile of the sport.    

But after having recently participated in a Verizon Tech Tour, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it turns out the relationship is about much more than just sponsorship. This is a real partnership. A partnership aimed at speeding both organizations into a high-technology future.

For IndyCar
They get a crack at innovative Verizon LTE Multicast. Introduced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, over a commercial 4G LTE network, it delivers rich, multi-faceted media content to multiple devices at once rather than sending it in a separate stream to each user.

Right. What does that mean? With a series of cameras deployed trackside to capture the cars as they travel around the circuit, combined with in-car cameras that get unparalleled views of what the drivers see, the content delivered over LTE Multicast gives IndyCar teams, using a special app, pictures and angles in real time they may have never seen before. 

Unprecedented, split-second decision-making capabilities. That's cool.

The ultimate goal and what's in it for you: The idea is to roll this technology into a solution for the ultimate fan experience. Large audiences in specific locations--like race tracks--would have access to the same live video and data on their personal devices that teams now have in the pits. Think of it as an evolution of the current IndyCar14 app with multiple channels of live video, and more, added. Much like the same technological amenities you might enjoy on multiple devices in your living room brought right to your seat at the race track. Fastastic.

For Verizon
They get to use IndyCar as a springboard to what clearly appears to me to be a transition from solely a mobile provider to a full-fledged tech company.

A few examples of Verizon advancements already available:

Connected Car (Delphi Connect with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot)

  • Transforms your car into a wi-fi hotspot
  • Access vehicle diagnostics, including code meanings
  • Use your mobile phone as a key fob
  • Get speed alerts
  • Locate your vehicle

Connected Home (Nest Home Thermostat, Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, and more) 
  • Control the temperature in your home remotely
  • Turn home electronics on or off from your smartphone
    or tablet
  • Control lights remotely
  • Video monitoring
Connected Home illustrated in the Verizon IndyCar Fan Village 

Isis Mobile Wallet
  • A free app that allows you to use your smartphone to pay for purchases. You can add payment cards and have it hold your offers and participating store loyalty programs, so they’re always with you.
So there you have it. A peek behind the barriers at how Verizon and IndyCar are shaping their futures together. Things look bright.


Verizon kiosk, located in the IndyCar Fan Village, engages racing enthusiasts and
showcases the entire Indycar/Verizon technological partnership