Daniel Farrell

Web UI/UX Design & Development
Page in progress: August 2016. Please check back soon for the completed project write-up!

football.live is the result of my university dissertation. I received a grade equivalent to a First for this piece of work, indicating the project was carried out to the highest standard set by the university.

The Problem
Sports fans are faced with increasing costs when attempting to experience their favourite sporting events live - whether that is the cost of travel and tickets to the event venue, or the cost of expensive TV packages such as Sky Sports and BT Sport. Their only options after that are to listen on the radio (if radio commentary is available, the more obscure sports may be hard to find), to read live text feeds (again, the more obscure sports may not have text feeds available), or to watch the highlights after the sports event has finished. These are unacceptable in terms of experience - they just aren't as good as watching the event live with your eyes.
Another, lesser problem, is that of bandwidth. Some users may opt to use official products such as Sky Go or Virgin TV Anywhere to watch sports, but when the user is on-the-go they quickly eat up any mobile data allowances that the user may have. An ideal solution would be low-bandwidth as well as low-cost.

The Solution
After extensive research into ways sports fans experience sports events one of the many tangents that caught my attention was video gaming. Video games such as FIFA and Football Manager are able to display a football match (albeit computer generated) to multiple players simultaneously while using very little bandwidth. They manage this by sending very limited data - just the ball's and each player's position on the pitch - rather than sending a HD video frame 24+ times per second. This got me wondering whether a live, real-world sporting event could be represented by minimal data which is then visualised on the user's computer, and the answer is yes! There are already services that track the location of players and the ball in real-time, so theoretically these could be used to mimic video games and build a computer generated image. Rather than one person sat at their Xbox with a gamepad controlling what happens on the screen, there are numerous people in a sporting event controlling it instead!

Existing/Similar Solutions
I found very little evidence of live sporting events being represented in real time via computer generated images. One example I did find is the Formula 1 Mobile App which shows each driver's position on the track in real-time (see below).

Example of Formula 1 race visualisation

The Visualisation
Under Construction - Talk about how I decided between 2D and 3D, show images of final product

Technology Used
Under Construction - Talk about Canvas, Fabric.js, Node.js and Websockets