i of the Tiger

We’re betting that recently fired head football coach Tommy Bowden would not have been a fan of Clemson’s new iTiger technology. When your team is expected to compete for the national title and starts the year 3-3, allowing fans to send emails to the coach’s show during the game isn’t going to help morale. iTiger is a website accessible from wireless devices within Clemson’s stadium that will allow fans to watch video, order food and, yes, submit questions to the coach. Lucky for Bowden, the “submit a question” feature was not enabled during his 20-17 loss to Maryland.

In its current form, iTiger is accessible for fans sitting in the West Zone that have an iPod Touch or iPhone. A few dozen loaner units are also available for students on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans currently have access to instant replays of the entire game, categorized by quarter, and a short description. They can watch, pause, and re-watch to their hearts’ content. They also can access player profiles and statistics in real time. For the first time last week, fans were able to submit a food order that would be delivered to their seat. Next week, they will be able to use a credit card to buy that hot dog and soda. In the future, users will be automatically logged in, eliminating the need to enter their seat or credit card information. Maybe soon fans will be able to schedule a standing weekly order of two large nachos with extra jalapenos to show up at the start of the third quarter. There’s even talk of data on restroom line lengths.

With attention to the system growing, the next major hurdle is to broaden its usefulness to a greater variety of wireless devices, and to open the system up stadium-wide. With a capacity of more than 80,000, Memorial Stadium is intended as a large test facility for potentially broader applications. The software could easily be tailored to different sporting events: basketball, baseball, etc. And iTiger might one day be available throughout the campus, to let students know where seats are available in a computer lab, or maybe if a new job opportunity gets posted in the student union. Such as, perhaps, head football coach?