Week 5: Quarters, and Bye-Bye Blimp

Alas! Like Week 4, Week 5 involved some backtracking. While researching blimps at the beginning of the week, we found that a blimp that would be small enough to float among the crowd at a baseball game would not be able to fight the kind of winds that often blow through outdoor stadiums – so blimps, then, were out. At first, we thought “No problem, we’ll just switch to drones.” But then we found out that drones run on a similar frequency to WiFi, and if there is a strong WiFi signal around (as there usually is in stadiums), or a WiFi enabled device attached to the drone (such as the camera we were planning to attach), the WiFi is liable to interfere with drone operation. That meant that the operator might lose control of the drone, and it could crash straight into the fans at top speed – which meant that drones were also out.

In short, when it comes to the inter-inning event, we are back at the drawing board.

Luckily, development of the set collection app has gone more smoothly. An operator can now submit a play to the server, which will send a notification to phones with the app that something has happened on the field. Users of the app are shown three different types of plays, and must select the one that has just occurred (i.e. the one the operator submitted to the server). If the user does this correctly, they receive a congratulatory message. Otherwise, the app tells them that they have not successfully identified the play. Going forward, our developers will implement functionality that allows users to collect plays they have successfully identified into a “hand.”

We also had Quarters this week, which meant that a bunch of faculty sat down with us and gave us feedback. Here are the main points we got:

  • Set Collection
    • Users might experience fatigue if they must collect all plays throughout an entire game – maybe only run the set collection game during a limited period in each game.
    • The app should look more like classic baseball imagery used in team logos, pennants, and baseball cards.
    • We need to nail down the target demographic for the app, perhaps through discussion with Altoona Curve, in order to focus the design.
  • Inter-inning Event
    • Try something CRAZY – minor-league baseball games love having wacky entertainment.
    • Try something NOSTALGIC – baseball fans love nostalgia, to the point that modern stadiums are built to look like old stadiums.

In the coming weeks, we will use this feedback to further develop our app, and define a feasible-but-entertaining inter-inning event.