During the Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams teamed up with ARound, a live-event augmented reality tech company, to launch a brand-new experience for NFL stadiums and fans. In front of thousands of spectators packed into the massive SoFi Stadium, they debuted their amazing technology. To everyone’s immense delight, it was a huge hit.
What Is AR?
Augmented Reality is a technology that “augments” the user’s perception of the real world by overlaying digital holographic information on the user’s view of the physical environment. This can be achieved using devices such as smartphones, tablets, specialized headsets and smart glasses.
The digital information can include text, images, videos, and 3D models, among other things. AR is also currently being used in gaming, education, as well as in a wide range of other industries for various practical as well as entertainment purposes.
A Digital Holographic Spectacle At SoFi
The technology ARound provided allowed fans to simultaneously view a spectacular holographic projection, experienced by pointing their smartphones at the field. As the show went on it also provided additional marketing opportunities for the SoFi stadium.
ARound launched in August with the Minnesota Twins and has since expanded to include in-venue and at-home AR experiences. The CEO of ARound, Josh Beatty, is excited to bring blended TV experiences using products like Apple and Google AR glasses in the future.
What Does This Mean for NFL & Sports Entertainement?
The use of AR at the Super Bowl, and other sports events, marks the beginning of a brand new era in the NFL and spectator sports history.
AR has the potential to greatly enhance the sports entertainment experience for fans, and in ways that are only just beginning to be explored. With AR technology, fans can access a variety of immersive and interactive experiences such as holographic overlays and shared activations, providing a highly engaging collective, while at the same time personalized, experience.
One of the greatest potentials of AR is to provide new advertising and marketing opportunities. For example, AR can be used to display sponsored content while enhancing the viewing experience for fans watching from home.
In terms of the athletes and players themselves, AR has been shown to be of tremendous help in improving the player performance by providing benefits like real-time data, and visualised aid during training.
Along with many other uses, overall, when it comes to AR has the potential to change everything.
Will AR Be Optional?
Perhaps the idea of dazzling holograms superimposed over reality isn’t quite your cup of tea. The nice thing about AR is that, without a device to view it, it’s basically not there. So, it’s easy to opt out and rather focus on NFL expert picks and the action in the game.
Nevertheless, in the years to come, it will likely become more and more common, in everything from NFL and other major sports, to movies, games, television, and various forms of entertainment, work, and everyday activities. Mobile technology is already fully capable of utilising it, and soon we will all have AR smart glasses, making it even more fun, useful, and immersive.