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NFL and MLB Take Viewing Experience to a New Level with AR

Sports organisations are frequently testing novel technologies to enhance their fans’ viewing experiences. A new initiative, known as ARound and developed by Stagwell, a worldwide marketing firm, aims to accomplish just that. ARound is a ground-breaking, stadium-level augmented reality platform that allows fans to engage with both the real world and digital media on their mobile devices simultaneously.

This technology has come as a heaven-sent opportunity for different professional sports that were finding it hard to engage the attention of young fans who were stuck with their phones and had very short attention spans. The Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Twins both piloted this platform in 2022, and now the Kansas City Royals have become the latest team to join this platform. Speaking on joining this platform, the VP of Royals brand innovation commented that their team does its best to bring new experiences to their fans. He elaborated that, of late, baseball has struggled for viewership, and he believes technology can help them attract the attention of youngsters.

Royals’ fans can access “Crown Vision AR” by downloading the app on their phones. The most interesting part of this software is that it allows the integration of game action on a real-time basis. The users of the app can also view follow-along effects that include fireworks after home runs, contacts to the on-field action, and astonishing graphics. One interesting feature of this platform is a firebreathing dragon that the user can control. In addition to this, there are other features, like mass gaming experiences in venue broadcasting made through stadium video boards, that will surely take the viewing experience to the next level.

The maker of this app promises to soon update the features so that it includes play-by-play graphics and 3D stats to give the fans a broadcast-level experience.

Speaking about this app, the founder and CEO, Josh Beatty of ARound, has explained their intention of turning the spectators in the stadium into actors who are no longer passive viewers but can actively participate in the game they love. The ARound platform has a built-in, scanned map of the stadium, which is used to create a highly realistic 3D virtual arena. This has helped in using the physical space as a foundation on which the users experiences of the augmented reality content are overlaid. This architecture has allowed programmers to localise content for individual users who are in the venue. The platform also uses a data protocol with very low latency. This has helped in keeping the interaction and experience of the users seamless.

This software enables users from any location within the venue to participate in a real-time game with fellow fans who are situated at a distinctive viewpoint, all within a virtual world. The software can transport every spectator at the stadium into an immersive gaming experience, merging both digital and real-world content. This exceptional blend of elements is expected to be hugely popular amongst young game enthusiasts.

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