The BizDojo Auckland harbours a fantastically novel gem of a startup known as Glory League. Every tour given to new prospective residents eventually comes through one wing in the shared space that’s almost dominated by this team. It’s a quirky set up, with plenty of visuals to go with it. Posters on the wall, monitors full of code, basketballs, and a basketball hoop complete with backboard.
People walk through, and naturally curiosity strikes. The problem is, I always seem to get stuck on how to describe this company. So it became obvious that there needs to be some not-so-official documentation that can properly explain what these guys are creating.
So, picture this: you love sport. In fact, you love basketball. You go to the YMCA twice a week and play in an amateur league. Maybe you’re young, maybe you’re old. Either way, your skills are improving. The odd slam dunk, the occasional half court shot, a perfect assist. Every time you land one of these, you jump up and down in your moment of glory; a round of high fives and some gloating to your teammates. The problem is, the only way you could capture the moment is if your mother was on the sideline recording all the action.
Queue the Glory League team. This is where they make your experience spectacular; quite literally…you become a spectacle. The fine crew at the two year old startup have devised a method to track individual players’ movements, follow the ball, and record all those awesome moments that normally get playback and commentator real-estate. The best part of it is that it’s almost fully automated. All data uploads to the cloud and is accessible by individuals that want to capture their action in a single game, or a whole season in fact. So whereas once upon a time any significant moment was lost forever, now it’s captured automatically and made totally shareable and exciting.
Sometime last year the team was having some to and fro conversations with IBM. It came to a point where they qualified for the IBM Softlayer Catalyst program, an international incubator-type program that sees IBM supporting startups by way of free credit to use in any Softlayer server or product, as well as providing some mentorship.
Essentially, Glory League has coded a way to create the NBA video camera experience, in a totally virtual and automated way. This requires a huge amount of video to be captured and uploaded to an accessible platform almost immediately so that players have access to the footage as soon as possible after the game. IBM’s Softlayer is the software that allows this all to be possible. Glory League are currently using 6 large encoding servers to process all the information - all made possible by the 12 free months of access granted to them by the IBM Catalyst Program.
Watch this space. Glory League is offering a monumental experience for all the basketballers out there - and once this platform is up and running, there’s no telling how many other sports this will spread to!
Gil Amir is the Community and Communication Coordinator of the BizDojo Auckland