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 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 in addition to the real-time, on-the-water leaderboard information, which will be made public for the first time on FLWOutdoors.com during the July 16 demonstration in Hot Springs.
How it Works
During the Forrest L. Wood Championship, the weight of each finalist's bass will be entered into a handheld keypad linked to a shoebox-sized transmitter. This data will then be uploaded by cell 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 feed will be available from the 7 a.m. takeoff until 2 p.m. The final two hours of competition will not be broadcast live. The live leaderboard feed 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 being available on FLWOutdoors.com, the leaderboard data 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's world-class outdoor show. To add an additional layer of interaction at future tournaments, Remote Knowledge will 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.
About FLW Outdoors
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors administers eight national tournament circuits offering combined purses in excess of $30 million through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America's largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. For more information, visit www.flwoutdoors.com.