Offshore powerboat racing observers with even a passing acquaintance of Steve Miklos, the owner and throttleman of the Sun Print team that runs a 29-foot Extreme V-bottom, know about his passion for not just the sport but new technology. With the advances in Facebook’s 360-degree live video streaming platform, it was inevitable that someone in offshore racing would eventually attempt to provide it during a race.
“Sun Print actually will be the first offshore racing team to use this technology to broadcast live in 360-degree video,” said Justin Tabb , the team’s public relations manager. “Facebook developed the platform for 360-degree live video. YouTube has it too, but Facebook is more available and accessible to the masses.”
While Tabb said Sun Print is utilizing some “not yet consumer friendly” technology in partnership with 360fly that he can’t disclose, the 360fly 4K camera, which retails for $499, is at the heart of the system.
“How you set it up on the boat, that’s really the art of it,” he said. “But it’s a one-camera setup and it’s not freakishly expensive. We’d love to see other team utilize it, and we have discount codes for the camera for anybody who contacts us.
“I think this going to change the way offshore powerboat racing is viewed forever,” he added. “This gives viewers the ability to actually get involved, live.”
The Sun Print team experimented with the system during the Super Boat International season-opener last month in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Tabb said the Sun Print team plans to broadcast 360-degree live video on its Facebook page throughout the rest of the SBI season.