Augmented reality (AR) will have a huge impact on sports in the coming years as there are so many applications that can be used. Not only will athletes benefit, but also fans, media, and amateurs will experience real changes.
AR is an enhanced version of reality that is used to overlay digital information on an image being viewed through a device (like a smartphone camera). If you were to aim your phone, hololens, or whatever device onto something, information about the object would be displayed on that device.
Augmented reality will significantly disrupt the betting industry. Imagine you are sitting in front of your computer/TV, watching a sports game and you would like to place a bet. With your device, you could point your screen at a certain player, horse, team, or whatever, and immediately, all the data and statistics you need before placing your bet would pop up.
This may save you considerable time, as you would no longer need to dig into all kinds of resources to get the information. Time is money, and this is certainly true in the betting world!
Augmented reality is a wonderful tool for training purposes and, more generally, for learning new skills. A variety of new environments and situations can be displayed and simulated with the technology. You can develop strategies for various situations in different sports, making your training session more effective. Athletes will be able to improve their technique and skill using real-time video and overlays. Coaches and players are already adopting AR solutions in this field. Smart clothing containing sensors could help you to improve your yoga poses or golf swing, for example, which you can see on your phone or glasses. Overlay techniques could help you replicate the swing of your favorite golfer. Additionally, smart glasses can provide you with real-time training data, such as heart rate, calories burnt, etc.
With the adoption of AR, fairness in sports has greatly increased. We all know the indisputable Hawkeye, which uses augmented reality to make sports like cricket, tennis, and volleyball a lot fairer. No more disputes over whether a ball is in or out. This technique is already used in more than 20 sports! Augmented reality also lends itself to soccer, where it aids VAR (Video Assistant Referees) in making the right decisions. Using AR technology, various situations in a game can be quickly reviewed.
AR has already reached the world of broadcasting. You may not know it, but a 3D representation of team lineups just before the game is an AR application. Analysts may use video overlaying techniques in order to show alternative plays or tactics in a game or to show a 3D animation of a player from different angles. Such techniques enhance viewer experience and engagement levels. Many broadcasters like ESPN and Fox use augmented reality as they realize its importance. Expect many more applications to pop up in the next few years.
Marketing And Advertising
Where there are people enjoying professional sports, you will always find sponsorships, marketing, and advertising. AR will be a great tool for marketers and advertisers that want to promote products. Ordinary brochures handed out during a game would suddenly become a whole lot more fun when you point your phone at them; by doing so, you will get more information. Or, even better, you might get a special deal or price by playing a game.
Marketers will create apps and specifically aim advertising campaigns at target audiences connected to sports or clubs/players. GenZ doesn’t like advertising on TV or disturbing ads when streaming, but as soon as interactivity and technology enter the equation, they will surely be game. The advertiser with the best apps will score brownie points. In any case, AR will help marketers to obtain useful information about customers. But that’s not all. Sponsors and advertisers have to be creative to get the attention of the younger generations. On-field advertising will be an important way of promoting brands. This is where AR may play an important role. With augmented reality, different ads can be displayed on different feeds, allowing advertisers to target specific audiences in specific regions. For clubs and stadiums, this is good news as they can then maximize ad revenues.
Injuries And Rehabilitation
This is a field that augmented reality can be very useful in. Think of athletes wearing sensors and other wearable tech, with movements being tracked by a hololens, for example, through which you can visualize what’s happening with the athlete’s joints and bones. When using this technique, it will be possible to observe in real-time what is happening with the movements of someone. If a player gets hit, you could immediately analyze what is happening. Furthermore, if an athlete is rehabilitating following an injury, their movements and progress could be analyzed. With overlays, one is able to see what bones or joints are doing and where improvements can be realized. Artanim is a company that is developing such an app.
Augmented reality will soon make its mark in transforming fans’ experience of real-world sports. The leading sportswear manufacturer Nike recently filed a U.S patent for AR-aided golfing glasses. The glasses are wirelessly linked to a digital golf ball to help measure the trajectory, speed, distance traveled, and spin rate of the ball after it is hit. This is just one example of AR sports products that are coming to the market. But you can expect a lot more. The wearables market will grow significantly. Goggles and glasses, in particular, will become commonplace. Expect cyclists, swimmers, and runners to be equipped with headgear soon.
Stores that sell sporting products will also increasingly use augmented reality. Some of them already do. Just point your phone at a product, and immediately all information, colors, etc., will pop up, so you can easily decide what you want. You could stand in front of a mirror and see yourself wearing items in all the different colors you want.