Augmented reality is a technology where the real-world view is supplemented with computer-generated digital content such as images, videos or animations that enhance the user’s perception of the real-world in real time. It is one of the emerging technologies that has grabbed the attention of the sports world in the recent years.
But, this futuristic technology is not something new to the sports industry. Augmented reality has been used in sports for more than a decade.
Surprised? Consider this;
Sports fans already have had a taste of this exciting technology in the form of Hawk-Eye, a kind of ball tracking system that allows the players to challenge the line-calling decisions in tennis.
In cricket, it has been in use from several years for depicting a batsman’s wagon wheel or a bowler’s beehive.
Thanks to the craze that augmented reality have received in the recent years due to Pokemon Go and Snapchat’s AR filters, this technology has burst onto the sports scene in a big way.
This new found fervor among sports professionals and enthusiasts for augmented reality has attracted big investments in the field of sports from startups to major organizations. Many companies are coming up with their own augmented reality products that can revamp the sports industry with better immersive experiences.
Having had the taste of an immersive and engaging viewing experience, sports fans and enthusiasts are wanting for more. Add to it the proliferation of smartphones, advancements in technologies in general and augmented reality, in particular, have paved way for the effective and aggressive use of augmented reality in the sports industry.
How can Augmented Reality be used in sports?
Augmented reality allows the users to immerse and engage in the action during live sports matches. The augmented content helps the viewers to better understand and enjoy the sports game. It can be used by the leagues/clubs to sell their merchandise and interact and engage with their fans.
Augmented reality in Sports Broadcasting
Augmented reality has a history of sorts with sports broadcasting. It has been part of the sports coverage of most popular forms of physical sports from a very long time.
Wondering how? In the form of computer-generated visualization. From displaying simple data like time, current score and player statistics to overlaying virtual objects such as soccer scenes onto the live video.
Few more examples of augmented reality in sports broadcasting:
This technology has been providing a three-dimensional depiction of a ball’s trajectory in cricket and tennis. Since the late 1990’s, yellow first down line that has become a staple of the NFL viewing experience is all possible thanks to augmented reality.
Augmented Reality Sports Training
New age professional athletes can now take the aid of augmented reality to better their technique and analyze the pros and cons of their training program. The ability of augmented reality to provide real-time data will benefit the sportsmen during training.
Through the augmented reality sports training program, the sportsmen can get information on every hit and miss, jump, push, throw or distance ran etc. in real-time. This helps them to change or correct their action and take better decisions with regards to their training and performance.
Augmented Reality Sports Stadium
Augmented reality can be used to improve the stadium experience of fans attending the sporting events. There are many ways to allure the audience to the stadiums to watch the matches:
- By providing comprehensive real-time statistics of every player/athlete on the field.
- Similar to displaying game’s real-time stats such as score and expert analysis on television, augmented reality can allow the fans to take a deeper dive into the game analysis when in the stadium.
- It can customize the seat of every fan and let them know where their friends are seated.
By enhancing the fans’ experience in stadiums, the sports organizations or leagues can expect deeper loyalty from them for the sport and for the league or the clubs.
Augmented Reality Sports Marketing
Sponsors are very much part of the sports industry who help to promote the game by investing in it. In return, they see the sports events as marketing arena for promoting their products or services either by associating themselves with the sports events or the famed sportsmen.
Implementing augmented reality into sports marketing is only going to enhance the marketing promotions. It can turn every brochure, poster or stand on the field into an advertising tool that helps to unlock extra info in the form of digital objects from them.
Not just that;
Augmented reality allows the sponsors to get information about the consumers which helps them to offer personalized ad content. This helps to achieve two things: One, enhanced sales and the other, enhanced fans engagement.
Augmented reality has definitely made inroads into the sports industry from helping sportspersons in training to creating immersive experiences for fans and helping to generate more revenue through ads, all of which leads to the betterment of sports.
But this is just the beginning;
There will be a day where augmented reality experiences are going to become a norm in the sports industry where every sporting event in the world isn’t complete without this cutting-edge technology.
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