The NHL’s partnership with GoPro has provided us with some incredible first-person footage of some of the world’s best players showing off their skills, but we’ve yet to see the cameras used in live game action. Thanks to another wearable tech company, though, the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder will be the first team in professional hockey history to wear helmet-mounted cameras during live play.
For their season finale this Sunday, Feb. 21, several Thunder players will be taking the ice wearing UHWK Show, a helmet-mounted POV camera that will capture in-game footage. The Thunder, currently in third place in the CWHL, will wear the cameras for their contest against the second-place Calgary Inferno in a game that could potentially have a major impact on playoff seeding.
"Being the first pro team to use UHWK is a privilege,” Thunder coach Tyler Fines said in a release. “It's a game changer for a lot of players and coaches. You can do a lot with what this product can do; it's good for players and good for analytics.”
UHWK Show was created by Shea Kewin, a former OHL center, and Tim Priamo, a former OHL defenseman. Kewin and Priamo were teammates at University of New Brunswick in 2013-14, where the idea for the technology was born. The Show is the first camera released by UHWK, and Kewin said the company is thrilled at the chance to work with the CWHL to capture the first-ever professional game with POV footage.
“The CWHL is a league that is leading the game with a lot of momentum,” Kewin said. “We are excited to see the game from the players’ point of view for the first time.”
The Thunder, whose players have been using the technology in practices, wanted to be the first to wear the technology and were enthusiastic about the opportunity. Some of the Thunder players, including Rebecca Vint, were wowed by what the technology can do.
“It was super HD. It was in focus the entire time, you could see and hear everyone,” Vint said. “You can look back on moments and we could all learn how to right our wrongs. You can take any given drill and narrow it down to how you can make it better. It's like you're living the moment again.”
While plans are yet to be finalized, there will be anywhere from five to 10 cameras being used on ice, which could even include the linesmen and referees for the contest. Once the game is complete, the footage will be uploaded to the UHWK website and YouTube channel. It should be available for fans to check out "as early as next week."