Ministry of Sport

Augmented Reality increasing game day experiences for fans

Augmented Reality (AR) is widely misunderstood and undervalued by sporting organisations in terms of how it can be incorporated to increase game-day experiences for fans.

Virtex Apps, a San Fransisco based startup making interactive augmented reality games for large-scale sporting events, is helping sporting organisations and sponsors engage with fans during live game day events.

CEO Virtex Apps, Jeff Green, is a Stanford Computer Science graduate with 20 years of experience in software development and has introduced a way to hold multiplayer augmented reality experiences at sporting events, with games such as Soccer, Baseball and NFL currently available.

“At sporting events, there is a fair amount of downtime, so the idea of Virtex Arena is to actively involve people during those times,” he told Ministry of Sport.

“Everyone can pull out their phone and point it at the field or court and see some kind of virtual experience happening there in that space in front of them.

“But not only see it, but they can also actively participate in it.”

Having debuted earlier this year at the Super Bowl in America, the Virtex Arena app doesn’t require complex infrastructure for leagues to utilise this technology, as any fan with a smartphone connected to the internet can play.

“It’s a competition, where everyone in the stadium can participate at the same time,” Green said.

“How often do you get a chance to compete with ten thousand other people at the same time?”

For clubs looking to integrate their sponsors more during game day events, the app allows for the club to offer prizes or free tickets for the competition winners, or even incorporate mascots and advertising throughout the game.

The Australian Baseball League is currently exploring the possibility of incorporating Virtex Arenas app for fans on game day and Jeff believes Augmented Reality will become more common at sporting events as fans are given more exposure to the technology.

“I’m hoping fans will come to expect AI at sporting events and that we can actively involve people that are watching the game.

“We would like to be partnering with more leagues and more teams, not just in the US, but around the world.”

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney