Thuuz Sends A Heads Up When Sports Get Exciting

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So many sporting events, so little time. What's a fan to do? A new notification service called Thuuz will tell you when to tune in — according to your personal excitement threshold. Warren Packard, founder of Thuuz, talks with NPR's Scott Simon about how the service works.


So many basketball games, so little time - maybe attention span. The NCAA tournament presents the fan with a panoply of choices of games to watch. Now there's a new service called Thuuz that says they can help you know when to tune in, according to your personalized excitement threshold.

We're joined now from member station KQED in San Francisco by the founder of Thuuz, Warren Packard.

Mr. Packard, thanks very much for being with us.

Mr. WARREN PACKARD (Founder and CEO, Thuuz): It's a pleasure to be here.

SIMON: Personalized excitement threshold - well, let's just be careful with that phrase. Tell us how Thuuz works, if you can.

Mr. PACKARD: Well, what we're doing is we're tracking every sports game and match for excitement in real time. So from the moment that the - since we're talking about basketball - from the moment that the ball is tipped off to the end of the game we track every single play. And depending on what happens we'll move up or down the excitement level. And we have a 0 to 100 scale.

And, as you mentioned, you can personalize your preferences. And so you can tell us when to contact you depending on how high that excitement level gets. So if it exceeds an 85 we'll shoot you an email or a text message or a tweet. And we'll let you know, hey, this is a great game.

SIMON: Now, do you just have a lot of people in a room watching television?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PACKARD: That'd be the easy way out. Actually, we're leveraging technology here. So what our inputs are the play-by-play feed that we get from other service providers who actually have people at the scorer's table or in the stands recording every single play of every single game. And they get processed by our computers. And so we're able to do this in a completely automated fashion.

SIMON: Now, President Obama, for example, seems to be rooting for Kansas. At least he's got Kansas, you know, picked to win it all. So he's a mighty busy man. Tell us what kind of alerts he might get if he's, say at a National Security Council meeting dealing with very important things, and you've got to respect his time.

Mr. PACKARD: What I would suggest to President Obama is that he set his excitement threshold at 95. And so he's going to get alerts only to the most exciting games that are going on.

SIMON: Mr. Packard, I'm a Chicago Cubs fan. And it occurs to me I could sign up for your service and never hear from you all season.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PACKARD: The great thing about excitement is it's completely independent of the record of the team. And, in fact, it's interesting; the most exciting team in these leagues are typically the middle-of-the-road teams. They're the teams that play up to the caliber of the great teams and they play down to the level of the less than capable teams.

And so we're really broadening the exposure of these teams across the leagues. So you get more of a sense for what's going on around the country, which players are very interesting to watch. And so we know no bias.

SIMON: Warren Packard, founder of the technology company Thuuz.

Thanks so much.

Mr. PACKARD: Thank you very much for your time.

SIMON: This is NPR News.

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