Watching a professional-league hockey game from front-row seats can be fairly intense, particularly when players crash into the boards right in front of you. Watching games on your TV at home isn't quite as exciting, although the San Jose Sharks, Comcast SportsNet California and The Guitammer Company want to change that. Using Guitammer's existing Buttkicker kit, they want to let home-viewing Sharks fans feel all the board hits through their couches.
Here's how the Buttkicker-based "4D Sports" system works ...
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A series of sensors have been installed on the boards at the SAP Center in San Jose, where the Sharks play their home games. When those sensors detect a heavy impact to the boards, a signal is added to Comcast's broadcast of the game.
Although not visible or audible on viewers' TVs, that signal is picked up by the US$300 Buttkicker kit in their homes. An included RF transmitter wirelessly relays the signal from the TV to a 300-watt amplifier, which is in turn wired to the main Buttkicker Advance – a low frequency audio transducer located under one leg of the couch (rubber isolators are included for placing under the other legs).
As a result, every "bone-jarring impact" with the boards is accompanied by a silent shaking of the couch.
The system saw its first use on Nov. 20th, and should remain in use for all of the Sharks' home games that are broadcast by Comcast for the 2014-15 season.