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Center works with private industry to enhance pro sports

By Alec Jennings
University News Service
May 5, 2009


In cooperation with the Texas State University-San Marcos Center for Research Commercialization, a San Antonio business is working to change how spectators and athletes view sports.

Pro Sports Technologies, an upstart San Antonio business, wants to implement a broad network of technologies to track where an object is at any moment of play on a sporting field—more specifically a football field. 

"We aren't looking to change the way the game is played," said company founder Daniel Rodriguez.  "We're only looking to enhance it."

The Center for Commercialization's participation is two-fold, said its director Terry Golding.  First is to determine if the project is workable, whether technology can be developed to accomplish the company's goals.  The second stage is to locate funding options for research and development for that technology, providing university support through its facilities, faculty and its knowledge.

"Texas State's role is to provide a venue for a local company who has the idea, who has the business savvy, but may not have the advanced technological know-how, resources or facilities to get their project moving in the desired direction," Golding said.  "In return, Texas State students and departments get the advantage of gaining experience through understanding private business needs and in developing various and complex technological projects."

The cooperative research will seek to combine new with existing technology to track the location of an object on the field of play at any point during a game, with the goal of ultimately providing sporting statistics, location, trajectories and other aspects that would not only affect how the rules of the game are judged, but also providing information the avid fan can follow in potential play-by-play analysis.  After research and development, their goal is to be able to implement the technology into a variety of major sports such as soccer, baseball and basketball.

Rodriguez said their relationship with Texas State has been mutually beneficial and the project is moving forward.

"So far everything is working out very well," Rodriguez said.  "We have been contacted by major sporting goods companies nationwide as well as some professional sports franchises who are interested in our progress."

Currently, they have funding to work on initial phases of the project and are continuing to look for private industry funding as well as through public grants.  They hope to continue working in the development of prototypes for testing in the coming months and years.

More information regarding Pro Sports Technologies can be found at http://www.prosportstechnologies.com/.  More information regarding the Texas State Center for Research Commercialization can be found at http://www.mse.txstate.edu/about.html.