Technology changing sports
A few races back I was debating going to a Formula 1 race to see Michael Schumacher racing. While we were talking about it we figured that you’d probably feel pretty uninformed while watching since there’s no way to know what’s going on in the race – all you see is cars swooshing by. If you’re lucky you can see a big screen with the results or you’re listening to a radio that you can understand (which is hard in Italy). You’d be getting all the excitement of watching it live but you might not even know where or when or why your favorite driver finished the race.
What we finally agreed upon was that Formula 1 organizers should provide a wireless media player that could access video and other data about the race. It would act like a small computer with video capabilites and would make watching a race live a much greater experience. It would have to be cheap to rent and easy to use and the batteries would have to last at least a race and a half.
Well today they anounced such a device. I couldn’t find it on the internet yet but it’s supposed to have access to all cameras (you can switch between them yourself) and a lot of data about the race. I think this is a sign that times are changing and that technology is finally getting into every nook and cranny of our lives.
This is good and bad at the same time. It’s good for a volleyball team when their technologist can tell them where the serves are landing and where the most spikes land. The players are the ones that have to use this data and change their plays accordingly. What I don’t like is traction control, automatic transmission and almost everything else in the racing cars of today. This means that drivers have to do and know much less then they had to in the past. It’s not only more information – it’s less work. Now I’m not saying that racing is easy today, what I am saying is that it’s easier than it used to be.
In any case – Michael Schumacher decided to retire today which means I will never see him race a Formula 1 racing car live. I wasn’t really a big fan of him personally but as a big fan of Ferrari I respected what he and the people he brought (Ross, Jean) did to the red team. Hopefully others will be able to continue…