In-game alerts have typically always been archaic in nature. A fan can see a score on ESPN.com, hear an update on the radio or watch NFL Red Zone. But nothing really exists today that takes a deeper, scientific approach to solving the problem of knowing when to check out a game.

Thuuz is hoping to change that.

Featured already by the New York Times, TechCrunch and Sports Illustrated, Thuuz has created complex algorithms used to let us know when a game is getting exciting. This approach makes sense because we use algorithms everyday to help us do things smarter and faster. Searching for information on the web for example.

So how does Thuuz work? From their website:

Thuuz processes streams of play-by-play data – metrics that include point differentials, upsets, comebacks, and many other details – from every game in progress using a set of proprietary game excitement algorithms that ensure objectivity and consistency. The output of our algorithms is a continuous flow of game excitement ratings over the course of each game, on a 0 – 100 scale, that clearly show when (and if) a game becomes exciting. Individuals who create a free account at www.thuuz.com can sign up for real-time e-mail and text alerts that inform them of the most exciting games of each day and when each of these games becomes exciting. No other information about the games is communicated, so those viewing recorded games can experience all the suspense and excitement for themselves.

So we here at Sport Techie decided to give this thing a test drive last Wednesday and joined the free service in time for the Miami Heat/Boston Celtics Playoff Game 6. It took only 5 minutes to sign up (using one of our staff’s Facebook account) and set preferences (favorite teams and a minimum excitement level for alerts). Then we sat back and waited for the game to begin.

At 9:04 p.m EDT we received our first message alert from Thuuz via text and email.

 

 

At this point in the game Jeff Green just nailed a 3-point shot to put Boston ahead of Miami 77-72 with 10:11 remaining in the game. According to Thuuz’s algorithm, the game had hit an excitement level in the range of 76-77 and the most exciting player was Dwyane Wade. Note: Thuuz automatically adds 10 points to the excitement level of your favorite teams and we had indicated Boston as one during the sign up process.

 

 

Overall, Thuuz wins us over because of its geeky approach to solving the problem of making in-game alerts more intelligent. Since the Miami/Boston game we’ve been receiving alerts periodically each night. None of which have been annoying or obtrusive.

One downside of Thuuz is their mistake of assuming every fan’s definition of in-game “excitement” is equal. Furthermore, they don’t make it very transparent about what factors go into the algorithm therefore making it impossible for a fan to customize his/her own definition of “excitement”. However, Thuuz appears to be on a roll with the media and we wouldn’t be surprised to see variations of new customization come out in the near future.