We’ve heard a lot of hype about how 5G internet will change AR technology. However, we haven’t seen much yet.
This month, 80 thousand football fans were invited to experience it first hand. Scape Technologies calls it the largest 5G demo to date.
80 ft Cowboys
The experience used AR technology to make Dallas Cowboys players larger than life, creating 80 ft models of the players. The models interacted with the environment and played against CGI robots when the stadium was viewed through compatible mobile devices.
There was even a half-time game that users could play – all in AR.
Of course, the experience wasn’t just amusing. Player statistics were displayed alongside their 3D models throughout the game.
Creating the Experience
Scape Technologies provided the spatial computing required. The last time we checked in with Scape, they were debuting what they believe to be the first massively-multiplayer AR game. They’re also making a cloud-based AR map of the world.
Creating the Dallas Cowboys experience started with creating a digital model of the arena. This allowed the models to realistically interact with the environment. It’s also a method that XR companies sometimes employ to make the experience more comfortable to view.
The actual AR experience was created by Nexus Studios. They created the graphics and photo-realistic models that populated the display. They also made the Cowboys VS Robots half-time game, which was novel in the best way.
Why We’re Excited
This experience did a lot of new things. It also makes sports fans hungry for things to come.
This isn’t the first time that AR technology has brought fans closer to the game. The NBA and MLB already have comprehensive apps. Those apps don’t have all of the bells and whistles that the Nexus-Scape project did.
And, even the nuts and bolts were done better by Nexus and Scape. For example, the MLB and NBA experiences have stats displays. However, those displays are less pleasant and less easy to read.
And, the Nexus-Scape project is a first-of-its-kind for football. Previous NFL experiences only used AR technology to filter photos. While amusing, it’s hardly a comparison.
However, this experience is only for Samsung users and only fans of the Cowboys. As exciting as it is, we’d love to see similar experiences supported on other devices and for other teams. Or for the whole league. Unfortunately, as of this writing, I am unaware of any such initiatives.
The whole point of the experience was to demonstrate the power of 5G supported AR technology. And, with a display like that, it won’t be long before we see more experiences.