Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters Tournament, marking his first championship victory in 11 years, according to the PGA. That dramatic triumph is everything fans want to see when watching sports. As technology continues to change the way we interact with the world, fans and players will have the opportunity to experience their favorite sports in new and exciting ways. Augmented reality (AR) is already available today, and it will only continue to grow in the sports entertainment industry.
What is Augmented Reality?
The market for augmented and virtual reality was valued at $26.7 billion in 2018, and that value is expected to grow to $814.7 billion by 2025, according to a Zion Market Research report. Augmented reality introduces digital information into the user’s environment, while virtual reality creates an entirely artificial environment for users, according to Psychology Today.
How is It Being Used Today?
With a massive, and still growing, market augmented reality has multiple applications – practical and entertaining – available today. Smartphone apps are already offering augmented reality. Examples include Snapchat, with its multitude of filters; Pokémon Go, with its hidden critters; and IKEA Place, which lets you see how the company’s furniture would look in your home.
Sports, one of the biggest entertainment industries, are naturally being swept along with the tide of AR development. Baseball fans can use augmented reality features on the MLB Ballparks app, while basketball fans can get even closer to the court through the NBA’s AR app, according to AR Post.
Golf is also a natural fit for AR. PuttView gives golfers, including the pros, an augmented view of their ball’s ideal path toward the hole, according to Sport Techie. Augmented reality features on the Golfshot app allow users to visualize the layout and hazards of entire courses, according to Golf Digest. Beyond apps, devices like mixed reality glasses are helping players hone their game. For example, vGolf offers a golf simulation training system with the use of this type of glasses.
What Does the Future of Sports Entertainment Look Like?
AR is going to evolve and proliferate in the sports entertainment world. What will new developments look like? Simulations for golf and other sports will become increasingly sophisticated, developing offerings such as virtual opponents to play against, according to Interesting Engineering.
AR will not only change the way players approach their game, but it will also change how viewers and fans interact with the experience of sports entertainment. Augmented reality will be able to make the experience of watching a sporting event, whether at home or live, more interactive and immersive with ways to access content, view player stats, and see the game.
As augmented reality reshapes the way people see sports entertainment, national sports organizations, sports teams, stadiums, television networks, and more are going to be competing to keep fans and viewers buying tickets and watching at home with new and exciting AR options.