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Watch hockey from the referee’s perspective, thanks to a 360 camera mount

Hillary Grigonis

American Hockey League fans will soon be able to see games from the referees point of view — or at least what the referee would see if he had eyes in the back of his head. Earlier this week, the Tucson Roadrunners announced a partnership with the 360 camera company 360Fly to provide fans with a unique perspective of the games.

The Roadrunners became the first hockey team to use the 360Fly cameras during the pre-season Red/White game on Sunday, October 16, showing the ice in 360 from atop the helmet of one of the referees, offering a view all around the ice.

A second 360Fly captured an aerial 360 time lapse of the games.

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The Roadrunners are expected to continue using the cameras throughout the season, including on opening night against Stockton Heat on Oct. 28.

The new partnership will give Roadrunner fans access to 360 video from a variety of different perspectives.

The 360Fly 4K camera comes from the company behind the first consumer camera, upping the resolution to 2,880 x 2,880 pixels. The camera is unique because it uses a single lens to capture a near-360 perspective (360 degrees horizontally and 240 degrees vertically), which means there’s no stitching involved.

The sphere-shaped camera uses a smartphone and a Bluetooth connection for remote shooting, and as an action camera that’s both shockproof and waterproof, getting inside the action on the ice isn’t an issue. Compatibility with GoPro mounts allows the camera to be worn in a number of different ways — while the camera was first used on a ref’s helmet and for an aerial time lapse, the team hasn’t yet shared what outer perspectives they’ll be trying throughout the season.

Footage from the ice will be shared throughout the season on YouTube, the Roadrunner website, and social media accounts.