FLW Outdoors and Remote Knowledge have announced plans to roll out a new digital monitoring technology July 16 during the final round of competition at the $1.5 million Forrest L. Wood Championship on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark. The technology will allow visitors to FLWOutdoors.com to view, in real-time, the location and estimated catches of all 12 finalists as they cast for a top award of $500,000 cash – one of the most lucrative prizes in the history of tournament bass fishing.
Throughout the July 16 finals, bass-fishing fans will be able to follow their favorite angler as they maneuver around Lake Hamilton through a live, interactive screen. Fans at FLWOutdoors.com will be able to check in throughout the day and examine how many fish each of the 12 pro finalists have in their livewells, the estimated weight of each of their stringers as well as where each of the pros have traveled on the lake to catch those fish.
The technology behind the service is a new marine system called LEO, which has been the subject of an FLW Outdoors pilot program with Remote Knowledge – a Texas-based communications firm – for several months. It relies upon a combination of Sprint, Iridium and GPS technologies to provide instant tracking and reporting functions no matter where a boat is located anywhere on earth.
In previous Wal-Mart FLW Tour events this year, LEO provided tournament support data and communications functions for FLW Outdoors officials and FSN (Fox Sports Net) production crews. However, for the first time, the technology will be brought directly to the public – allowing for real-time, on-the-water leaderboard information on FLWOutdoors.com during the finals of the 2005 FLW Tour Championship.
How it works
During the final day of competition at the Forrest L. Wood Championship, the weight of each bass caught by the 12 finalists will be entered into a handheld keypad, which is linked to a shoebox-sized transmitter. This data will then be uploaded by cell phone or low-earth orbit satellite automatically (whichever works best at a given location) to FLWOutdoors.com, where fishing fans can log in to see the exact location and track of their favorite angler as they compete on Lake Hamilton. The number of fish and estimated weight will also be posted in real time. The live feed, which can be accessed by via a link on FLWOutdoors.com on July 16, will be available from the 7 a.m. takeoff until 2 p.m. The final two hours of competition will not be broadcast live in an effort to keep the final weight totals secret until championship weigh-in. The live leaderboard feed, courtesy of FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com, will then resume during the 5 p.m. weigh-in festivities as official weights are recorded and the winner is determined.
“With the Remote Knowledge’s live-data solution installed on our specially equipped Ranger Comanche boats, we will deliver a more fulfilling and exciting fan experience than ever before,” said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW Outdoors. “We pioneered live automated leaderboards during tournament weigh-ins with our exclusive FLW Live feature, and we are proud to take this revolution a step further by providing a real-time, on-the-water leaderboard.”
In addition to the data being made available on FLWOutdoors.com, the real-time leaderboard information provided by Remote Knowledge will also be displayed on computer monitors and TV screens throughout the Hot Springs Convention Center for fans visiting the championship. To add an additional layer of interaction at future tournaments, Remote Knowledge and FLW Outdoors have plans to distribute updated information to fans’ cell phones, BlackBerrys, and cell-enabled PDAs via Sprint text messaging. To sign up for this service, members will log onto www.flwoutdoors.com.
Remote Knowledge’s Randy Bayne said, “In much the same way that golf tournaments use leaderboards, now Wal-Mart FLW Tour events can relay live results directly from professional anglers miles away to spectators and television crews.”
In addition to the capabilities previously mentioned, LEO can remotely monitor and control a wide rage of vessel functionality, including bilge pumps, shore power, intrusion detection and unauthorized movement. If trouble occurs, an owner can be notified directly via e-mail, text message and cell phone or through a manned Central Call Center.
“Our work with FLW Outdoors demonstrates our ability to listen to customers’ needs and tailor our core technologies to deliver the value they demand,” Bayne said. “Our goal in the marine industry is to establish our solutions as the preeminent leader in on-board systems integration, global vessel communications, and remote command and control services all bundled to deliver the next generation digital boat.”
About Remote Knowledge
Remote Knowledge Inc., based in Houston, Texas, develops, markets and delivers end-to-end communications and innovative asset management solutions to remote regions anywhere in the world. It provides real-time location-based services via two-way wireless data transfer linked with GPS connectivity. Remote Knowledge’s products are designed to service the marine pleasure craft, recreational vehicle, and commercial maritime, construction and oil & gas industries. For more information, visit www.rkiq.com.