With the power to augment the real world, augmented reality is showing great potential in every walk of life. Whether it is business, education, shopping, or online gaming; everything is getting transformed to its face. Augmented reality is opening a new gate for the manufacturing industry and logistics. Also, we have already discussed how it is helping businesses to attract and serve customers in a new way, how it is aiding the ground staff at airports, etc. Now it’s time to understand the potential of Augmented Reality in sports, how it is being used in sports and how it will help in revolutionizing the entire experience in the future.
AR & VR in Professional Sports
“The Two” are already here and are making a good impact over the entire industry. It’s naturally coming into the daily lives of every person associated with sports including the audience, players, and investors.
Researchers are working to increase its potential and usability in and off the ground. It can:
- Aid the experiences of audiences
- Provide an efficient way to learn skills
- Reduce the injuries on the ground
The list is endless; we only have to push the boundary of thoughts and way of implementing the applications. Let’s see how augmented reality and virtual reality in sports is making changes in its older version.
It’s Not Completely New Here
You have seen the demonstration of bowling pattern in virtual lines in the live telecast of a cricket match. That’s nothing but very basic use of Augmented Reality in sports. And, it proves that AR in sports is present from very early ages.
How Augmented Reality In Sports Could Be Useful?
The very first thing we need to understand is the various aspects where AR can make an impact and that can be:
- Audience experience
- Players experience
- Coaching and training experience
- Marketing approach
- Sports broadcasting
- Sports sponsorships and merchandise
Let’s explore augmented reality in sports deeper.
AR & VR for the Audience Experience
How AR is Changing The Audience Experience?
Whether you are sitting at your home with your family or cheering up your favorite sport’s star from the stadium, Augmented Reality is going to add a “wow” to your experience anywhere.
Know All About Every Player on the Ground in Virtual Stats
Watching a game from the stadium is an adventurous experience for sure but you were definitely missing the visual content that tells you all about the sports, participating teams, and players that you were only finding on your Television.
The augmented reality is capable of providing that immersive and data enriched visual content even in the stadium as you were able to see on your television. Let’s see how it is possible and who are making it possible:
“Future of Stadium”
In CES 2018, Panasonic made a mark in this area by fusing augmented reality with 3D projection mapping that left the audience with an out of the world experience.
Aided by augmented reality technology, Panasonic merges interactive information that helps you to enjoy every second of the match leaving the users with rich experience.
For instance, BlendAR app could help audiences to view the players’ stats simultaneously providing a comprehensive view of the field. They just have to download the app and hover over the images of the players. There is an AR app MLB at Bat that was used in September 2017. This app allows users to point the mobile devices towards the field to see the player’s statistics. Additionally, the app provided the speed and trajectory of ever hit.
Face Recognition Will Replace Paperless Entry in Stadium
Panasonic is planning to come up with a face recognition technology for paperless entry into the stadiums. The new immersive experience provided by augmented reality will definitely encourage fans and sports-lovers to leave the comfort of their home and fill the stadiums in large numbers to enjoy the game to the fullest.
Nike Filed a U.S Patent for AR Golfing Glasses
AR may soon make its mark in transforming a fan’s experience of real-world sports. Leading sports-wear manufacturer Nike has recently filed for a U.S. patent for AR aided golfing glasses. These glasses are wirelessly linked to a digital golf ball that helps you measure the trajectory, speed, distance traveled and the spin rate of the ball after it is hit.
AR & VR for Sports Broadcasting
Watching your favorite games from the comfort of your home gives you maximum pleasure. If you are one of those who loves enjoying sports on television and even though you cannot get the same experience that you are getting in the stadium, you can enjoy the seamless commentary, graphical analysis, and discussions.
Also, the live telecast that you are watching on your television is exactly not a live telecast. Actually, live video is augmented by realistic 3D graphics and other interactive visual content. Moreover, you can see a 3D animated replay on the studio floor, 3D footage of the live game, and a lot more. Major sports broadcasters including ESPN, Start sorts, Fox sports, etc., are using this technology in sports broadcasting.
AR & VR for Players Experience, Coaching, And Training Experience
AR In Sports Training
Players need to learn, adapt, and enhance their skills on a regular basis. Also, they need to understand the opponent’s attitude. Well, Videos are helping greatly in this context. Now involvement of Augmented Reality in Sports is making the training session more effective.
Augmented reality projects various training data including information, graphs, video clips and more during the live training session. When you are analyzing your session’s feedback, you can check out only relevant information.
It is helpful in many ways, some of them include:
- Utilization of time only for training sessions and practice instead of searching and analyzing a relevant video.
- Performance enhancement of athletes with the aid of realistic 3D images.
- Removal of chances of getting a player injured by avoiding the traditional approach.
Let Players Learn and Practice without Any Help
There are many AR apps that help you to learn and practice various sports all by yourself. AR can become an indispensable part of any sportsperson that can provide them with real-time data about every move, distance run, the quality of hit they made, jump, push, throw, etc. This can help the person in correcting their actions, improving their techniques and making the correct decision. Smart glasses, 3D projectors and AR apps for mobile devices are ideally suited for the sports industry.
Real Examples of “AR in Sports Training”
- SGM sports have developed an AR app that aids in learning the numbering system for a volleyball attack formation.
- DribbleUp, a Brooklyn based company, introduced an app-enabled smart soccer ball. This ball has an AR marker on its surface that will connect with Android or iOS-based AR app. It has an adjustable tripod-stand that will hold your smartphone. Adjust your smartphone on this stand and connect with the AR marker on the ball and start practicing. AR and camera together will track your every movement and help you in the assessment of your workout.
- American football is implementing AR in games and practices which is benefiting them in various ways. Google glass can provide real-time data about the positions of players, match time, speed of the ball, etc.
- PuttView is transforming the golfing world with the latest cutting edge AR glasses that help players to better analyze the course so that they can plan their game in a better way.
AR & VR for Marketing Approach
In Sports season, it’s not only fans who are excited about the upcoming event but the sponsors and organizers are equally excited. The reason for their eagerness is the availability of a number of audiences that will watch the game and advertisement. They will get great opportunities to reach out to a major part of the population with interactive ads. Here is when AR helps in creating the most attracting, engaging, and interactive advertisement.
Every sports event is a great place for marketing and media tools and we all know that advertising is an integral part of any sports. Also, every player or team is earning loads of money through sponsorship and product advertisement. Implementing Augmented Reality in sports will help in making every poster or brochure more entertaining for the people on the ground. One of the many uses of AR implementation in sports is that it will help in getting the extra information from the advertisement. Moreover, AR can help in accessing information about customers. Such information is very helpful in making advertising personalized. Thus AR in sports simulates fans engagement and sales.
Examples of Augmented Reality in Sports Marketing
- Detroit Red Wings, a hockey team, have implemented AR to create a better experience for their fans. The Windscape app allows fans to search for animations and videos of their favorite team.
- A financial services giant came up with a sponsored experience for their customers where the legendary Venus Williams gave tennis tips. These fans then put that knowledge into action by targeting real object using virtual tennis balls and a 3D printed racquet controller.
Virtual Hybrid Digi LED Board: Real Example of AR in Ads
Supponor introduced “Virtual Hybrid LED digiBOARD“, with ADI. It is one of the most innovative ways of implementing AR in Sports. Using AR technology, organizers can replace on ground advertisements during a live telecast of a match without affecting the real contents of the stadium.
This can help organizers to target the physical audience whereas at the same time they can target specific sports lovers who are watching the live broadcast at various geographical locations with the peripheral advertisement.
Thus we can see that the implementation of AR in sports marketing can help advertisers and promoters to connect to the right customer irrespective of their current location. This helps in ultimate user engagement thus encouraging the sports lovers to actually buy the product.
AR & VR for Sports Sponsors and Merchandise
In addition to sponsorship, a core revenue stream for many teams is merchandise. Whether it’s helping fans visualize their favorite player’s jersey ahead of purchasing it or increasing sales with a value-add proposition post-purchase, AR should be playing an integral role in driving merchandise sales for sports teams inside and outside of the stadium. For example, within a promotion feature on an event pamphlet, a brand can advise fans to download their augmented application and hover over the ad to unlock special deals.
Here are a few ways by which Augmented Reality in sports is helping sponsors to engage people:
- Helping fans to click selfies with the realistic 3D projection of their favorite players or team.
- Putting video contents in Newspapers. User can access that video by moving their smart-phone over the marker printed in the newspaper.
- Using filters on the camera to print national flags on the selfies to share on social media.
- San Francisco 49ers upped the sale of their limited edition merchandise through AR. Using the 49ers app on their smartphones, fans were able to scan AR-enabled souvenir thus unlocking video highlights of the greatest moments of their favorite team.
The Last Word
So, whoever you are:
- A professional sportsman or an amateur who wants to improve your techniques without harming yourself, or
- a fan who wants to be in touch with your favorite players/team/league with a better experience, or
- a businessman related to the sports industry;
Augmented Reality in sports is supporting “usefulness and entertainment”. Augmented Reality is the one to look out for in the future to come up with new possibilities in the world of sports.
To incorporate Augmented reality into your business, give us a buzz at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do all the heavy weight lifting for you.