Technology has been making its way into the world of sports for years now and there are more and more different ways in which it contributes to improving the overall experience for coaches, players and spectators.
While smartphones have dominated the current global landscape, Augmented Reality allows more versatile experiences both in everyday life and in much more technical environments.
Combining these two concepts that many technology companies have been developing for years, FIFA has been one of the latest to take advantage of this.
FIFA + STADIUM EXPERIENCE
During the recently concluded Qatar 2022 World Cup, an immersive technology went viral even on social media: it is called FIFA+ Stadium Experience, the Augmented Reality application for smartphones introduced by the International Federation that governs football sports.
This application has revolutionised the way for fans to enjoy matches.
Only people who were in the stands could enjoy this FIFA+ experience, allowing them to experience the action and highlights of matches like never before.
After enabling the app’s location services, fans could view an exclusive “Stadium Experience” section and, by pointing the phone’s camera towards the pitch, the app used augmented reality to provide a full range of features.
Fans were projected inside the game action, benefiting from real-time player statistics, viewing replays, videos, VAR interventions and alternative camera angles.
Thanks to AR, the app could display the “tokens” of the players on the pitch like a real video game, the two team formations, and even offer details on the percentage of ball possession, the proportion of forwards and defenders in a given area, and the distance covered by each player.
The most characteristic aspects were the possibility to send encouragement to a team and, most importantly, the possibility to register while celebrating a goal. The best celebrations were shown on the big screens in the stadium when that user’s team scored a goal.
This offered fans a more complete experience allowing them to get a fuller picture of the game while it was taking place.
While AR technology has allowed football fans to easily access statistics and information about players and teams to better understand the game, according to many, the use of AR during football matches has made the experience colder.
Instead of concentrating on what was happening on the pitch and in the stands, in fact, many fans could be more focused on looking at the screens of their phones, potentially missing key moments of the game and simple conviviality taking away from the atmosphere of the match.
Technology is changing the way we follow not only football, but sport in general.
The use of Augmented Reality technology improves the experience of the spectator who, from the field, does not have the opportunity to review replays or enjoy statistics that are usually shown on TV. And, at the same time, it helps to fill seats and keep the younger generation engaged.
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