Augmented Reality: The immersive football experience

9 August 2022 – The Supercup 2022 in Leipzig provided football fans with an opportunity to witness the next level of the immersive football experience. Two groups of selected women and men were able to follow the Supercup live stream using Augmented Reality (AR) goggles or “smart glasses”. One group was located at the indoor spaces of the Red Bull Arena where the match took place, the other at a temporary test facility in Düsseldorf.

The AR projections not only showed the actual match on a virtual TV screen, but also supplementary information such as real-time statistics, match graphics and a miniature pitch indicating player positions in 3D. The viewers were also able to personalise, and interact with, the information displayed on the smart glasses. For example, they could invoke live statistics on each player, such as a heat map or the current running speed. Furthermore, they had the option to replay specific scenes in 3D.

Optimised on-demand information

Experiences gained and feedback received from participants in last year’s pilot test have since been assessed and used to optimise the experience during the Supercup this year. For the first time new-generation Smart Glasses by Nreal were used. “Nreal Air” are smaller and more compact, increasing wearer comfort compared to the model tried earlier.

What is more, the new personalised, immersive 3D sport experience includes additional information and features. For example, the Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS are now available for display, and on-demand video highlights (VOD) have been integrated, which benefit from various services of the DFL media value chain: Highlight clips are accessible shortly after the respective scene, thanks to the AI-based production platform of the Israeli provider WSC Sports.

Immersing oneself in the battles on the pitch

The core component of DFL’s Augmented Reality services is the ARISE platform provided by the French company which specialises in AR technology applications in sport., DFL and Vodafone had jointly developed the 5G In-Stadium app previously.

What sets the new AI Smart Glasses apart from other forms of enjoying an extended sport experience is the direct, “immersive” way viewers witness the events on the pitch because the video plays directly before their eyes – without blocking out the real environment. This technology, which is popular in the games and entertainment sector, opens up many innovative opportunities for sport media and fans, enriching their enjoyment of live broadcasts.