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tiedeman
02-05-2007, 10:06 PM
Just read this in my current ESPN magazine about a Smart Turf from Sportexe. The turf is a blend of fiber optics with synthentic turf. The result is an electronic field that projects stats, first down markers, logos, and video images just like your tv does. It can even show footfalls so officials can tell if a player went out of bounds or not.

A few strokes on a keyboard can flip the field configuration from a gridiron to a soccer pitch or swap logos when teams share the same stadium. At $1.5 million the techie turf is about threes times as pricy as a standard artificial field, but owners can recoup the cost by saving on maintenance (no lines or logos to paint), and by charging for on-the-grass advertising.

Steve
02-05-2007, 10:40 PM
I am doing some research on this. Do you have any pictures so far? It sounds amazing!


I did find this video from the company.
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Steve
02-05-2007, 10:43 PM
Top Secret Sportexe Sci-fi Synthetic Leaks - Word's Out! (http://www.sportexe.com/turf_news_turf_tv.htm) - Locked in a briefcase inside a steel vault, surrounded by armed guards in an undisclosed location somewhere in North America, the most innovative product in the synthetic turf industry has remained a global secret - until now. On Friday, Nov. 10, Forbes Magazine revealed to the world what Sportexe, an industry leader in synthetic turf systems, has been covertly developing for the past five years - a fiber optic field, or "Turf TV" as Forbes labeled it.

According to the Forbes article numerous possibilities exist from technology that would virtually turn a football field into a giant computer screen capable of full interaction, such as team logo displays, field marker changes, player tracking and even commercial viewing - wait till Budweiser hears about this. All these possibilities on an illuminated synthetic in-fill playing surface that would still look and feel like grass.

With a simple click of the mouse a field could virtually go from football to soccer and back to football.

"Fiber optics is not electricity, it is a transfer of light," said Sportexe CEO and President Mark Nicholls. "The reality is that fiber optics has existed for decades and the circuitry to control this system is nothing NASA-ish, it is just that nobody has combined that particular technology into a synthetic field before."

How does it work? Simple. Images are distributed among 1,750 interconnected square trays, 7.5 feet on a side, with each possessing its own light processing circuitry. Thousands of blades of polyethylene grass, blended with optical fibers, reflect light upward from the trays. In total, a football field would have 128 million pixels, which is equivalent to 1,280 per square foot. The fiber optic-laden blades will have the same look, feel and durability as non-illuminated blades.

This is obviously not your father's fake grass football field.

So how much and when?

First, the new field will cost approximately three times that of a regular non-lit field and up to eight times that of a natural grass field. However, with the additional revenue options from advertising sales and event hosting, the fields will have limitless avenues to cover the cost. Plus, the maintenance advantages of synthetic turf systems over natural grass fields over a 10-year period, which can approach $1 million, 20 times that of an in-fill field, already outweigh any initial cost advantages. And while fiber optic field technology is here, the commercialization of "Turf TV" is still a few years away.

"This innovative product, while still in it's infancy, still has many developmental phases," said Sportexe's Dr. Phil Stricklen, Director of Research and Development. "Obviously this product has the potential to re-invent the industry."

http://www.sportexe.com/images/news/turf_tv_web.jpg

tiedeman
02-05-2007, 10:45 PM
I can not find any pics. I can not even find any information on their website about it