Starting with last night's game against the Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets enabled a new feature to the already pretty impressive Barclays Center app. You can now watch a live stream of the game while on the arena's Wi-Fi network. This is either brilliant or deeply depressing.
The benefit of the stream, obviously, is you can take your phone with you to the bathroom, or the concessions stand, or even pull up replays that the jumbotron is neglecting. It's an amenity in an arena stacked high with digital amenities. You can already check in, order food from your seat, and buy tickets over the app; actually watching the game from it makes sense.
The stream uses a MultiCast system that divides the connection automatically 19,000 different ways. That means unlike your home network, you're not getting a superspeed connection when you're the only one online. Everything is pumping in at a constant speed, which means during the actual games, you'll have a usable stream, even if everyone's watching on their phones at once.
But while the stream is basically just an added perk, taking nothing away from the experience you can and do have, the very idea probably draws condescension from anyone who thinks we're already too focused on our phones at live events. We go to concerts and stare at our phones, recording (portrait) video for songs at a time, often our favorites. Will the convenience of replays and not being tied to your seat by the need to see the game as it's happening lead to similar behavior at games? Maybe. But it's still an understandable addition, considering how comfortable and efficient it's become watching sports from home, where you can plug in your League Pass or Sunday Ticket onto your array of five giant TVs, and your iPad. [Verge]