The Front Row Story
Front Row Technologies was founded in Dallas, TX in 2000 by inventors, Luis Ortiz and Kermit Lopez, to develop and commercialize technology for the delivery of live sports and entertainment video and other data to hand held devices. The original Front Row concept was developed by Luis Ortiz while attending a Sting concert in Dallas in August 2000 with his wife Sharon, who was pregnant at the time. Because of Sharon's discomfort with cigarette smoke, they moved to a viewing position far away from the concert stage where unfortunately the view of the stage was poor. Luis thought, "wouldn't be a great idea if I could just tap into the video cameras and wirelessly view captured video of the concert on my PDA?" At the time, Luis's PDA lacked a wireless data connection, meaning there was no way for him to wirelessly obtain data on his PDA. Furthermore, PDAs were not yet capable of processing video, but he believed such capabilities were just on the horizon given the rapid pace of wireless technology development.
Luis shared his idea with his friend and co-worker, Kermit Lopez, about a month later. By October, 2000 they had filed the first Front Row provisional patent application, which expanded on Luis's original idea. The Front Row patents cover a wide range of features, including the delivery of venue-based sports and entertainment video data to cellular hand held devices through wireless networks (e.g., WiFi, cellular, etc).
Early on Luis and Kermit attempted to commercialize the technology captured in their patents by contacting sports teams and venue owners/operators, as well as potential investors. But the technology was ahead of its time and did not have issued patents yet, which prevented it from securing interest. At that point they set out to further develop their IP rather than trying to develop a working system given their limited resources because hardware and application development was way too costly a proposition at the time for private individuals like Luis and Kermit to pursue.
The Front Row Patents
Since October of 2000, Front Row has developed a significant patent portfolio that covers methods and systems that enable the utilization of remote video monitors including HDTVs, set-top boxes, and hand held devices, such as Smartphones, tablet computing devices, laptop computers, and other hand held wireless-enabled and video-enabled devices to supplement and enhance the "live entertainment" experience, whether at the venue, in the car or at home.
Confirmation of Front Row's IP
The commercial viability of the intellectual property owned by Front Row Technologies is proven every day by entities like Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), which has created a market for sports related data with applications and systems such as "MLB@Bat," which is an app that enables the capture, transmission and viewing of multiple video perspectives from live entertainment venues. Front Row is also moving forward with additional solutions for the delivery of sports and entertainment video to hand held devices. These solutions are captured in Front Row's growing intellectual property portfolio.
If your company is in the business of capturing live sports and entertainment data from venues such as stadiums and concerts and delivering this data wirelessly for viewing at hand held devices such as Smartphones, tablets and so on, you may need to obtain a license from Front Row.