One of my favorite things about the current state of pinball is that even if I can’t make a big tournament, I will likely be able to watch the event being streamed. In the pinball community we always have very knowledgable players on the mics who are able to fill us in on the little details and nuances of games and playing that we may not know about otherwise.
Twitch streams, overhead cameras, DMD/display cameras, over-machine monitors, and the tilt-bob cam are all very cool ideas that have made watching pinball much more fun. Still, it’s not often that you see a PAPA stream with more than a few hundred viewers, even during major events like Pinburgh.
I hope that getting more, quality media out there which is more accessable can draw more people into both playing and spectating pinball games, and help the sport grow.
There have been some revolutionary technological achievements in televised sports which have enhanced the viewer experience. Instant replay is an obvious one which now takes place after every single play in NFL games. Football also added the Yellow first down line to help the TV audience follow the action.
I personally think that telestration and on-demand replay are technologies that would greatly enhance watching a game of pinball.
One cool article I just saw on fivethrityeight talked about a new video system which instantly calculates the flight path of a ball as soon as it leaves a player’s hand. In basketball, the computer knows from the moment the ball is released whether it will be a swish on a brick. Here is the article: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/can-an-astrophysicist-change-the-way-we-watch-sports/
Nudging is a very abstract skill in pinball, and one that is very difficult to understand for a casual observer of a pinball game, especially when nudging is done before the ball is near the flippers or outlanes… If it were possible to use this (patent pending) technology for pinball it would be possible to show a viewer the trajectory of a ball before a machine was nudged. I can see that being more useful than showing the basketball audience if the ball will go in the net or not. But, it looks like Mark Cuban has invested in it currently.
Any other ideas people have for cool things that may be added?