AR and VR in sports: the present and the future

the Search for effective solutions in the field of training process, sports marketing and events for fans often leads to the use of virtual and augmented reality. Interestingly, in the already occurred future of AR and VR in the sports industry do not believe everything. Skeptics, traditionalists believethat the interest in these technologies is temporary, and claim that VR for example, can seriously develop only in the adult industry.

This moment is key in the development of these technologies in General, and their application in sport in particular. In this post I will try to analyze the sports areas in which augmented reality and virtual reality in particular demand at the moment, and obviously will develop in the future.

The training process and new opportunities for athletes

If we talk about the possibilities of AR and VR for the training process, already substantial results have been achieved the German team, which is preparing to release a training cognitive-tactical soccer simulator SoccerBot360. The developers used the classic scheme of the training complex in the form of the arena. The arena is round, on its walls (with a total area of 80 sq. metres) Full HD projected image targets or training locations in a virtual match with the patterns of players and forest, where you must get the ball between the branches, etc.

Several high-speed cameras track the ball movement and player (according to the camera measured the speed, direction, force attacks, and which leg was used. Depending on the speed and direction of ball movement, the system maintains the possible trajectory of its flight, the efficiency of pass virtual players in a virtual game. Data obtained from the cameras are analyzed by the complex, and the system in real time evaluates the results of strikes, effectiveness of the player in certain situations and projects the result on the wall, for example, showing a trajectory of further movement of the ball. The complex can train one or more players. Currently being finalized, and virtual jobs, and improving the system of evaluating the effectiveness and predict the direction of the ball at impact. The project SoccerBot360 is developed by Umbrella Software Development GmbH from Leipzig.

Also significant is the experience of the company Beyond Sports VR, which works with football clubs such as Arsenal. The company creates immersive training regimens. VR Technology virtual reality glasses, already tested the NFL as training tools for players, in the period of post-traumatic recovery. According to the Director of business Beyond Sports sander Shoten, such systems allow to improve the tactical training of young and injured players who can analyze the scenario of the match, having participated in it with the use of virtual reality. Experts also note that the physical nature of the sport seriously limits the return of injured athletes at the training grounds. Now VR technology is already capable of solving problems with early tactical training in case of injuries.

A significant breakthrough in the basketball VR can be considered using VR technology Brain Performance from SyncThing. SyncThink announced a collaboration with the Washington Wizards of the NBA in February of this year. The team will use the equipment to obtain comprehensive data on players ‘ brains. In addition to traditional VR glasses set of used equipment, obviously, will include neural interfaces. Media reported that the team will use a series of tools and technologies from SyncThink, in particular, a tool for assessing fatigue. It is planned to keep track of how fatigue affects the brain of the player during the season.

A non-trivial way of the use of VR found in American football. Youth American football teams this year earned the training program which allows the VR funds to demonstrate what happens when cranial injuries, to demonstrate the symptoms of concussion and to help young athletes recognize them in a timely manner. The program is called CrashCourse, and is implemented in cooperation with American Youth Football & Cheer, and TeachAids. American football, also sometimes called the sport of superathletes, even in youth competitions is associated with a high risk of receiving a traumatic brain injury. The program demonstrates some symptoms, teaches the safety and techniques of self and mutual assistance in the event if the athlete is still injured.

AR and VR for the fans and judges

Many will recall that in 2018 the BBC has already used AR and VR technology to broadcast the world Cup. The audience got a 360 degree view of the game. On a similar project working in the British football club Liverpool. The administration of the club understands that even at thousands of stadiums are not always enough places for all the fans, and not all places are good. The club is thinking about using VR for more effective broadcast of the match. It is obvious that the fan-base with VR will be able to experience close to the stadiums, and possibly stronger, as the survey will be carried out from more advantageous positions.

High interest in the use of AR to interact with the fans, support the loyalty of the fans and the club. Revealing the first attempt of this kind — the application of AR on the Rugby world Cup in 2015 year. Then the company Blippar first used this technology in the sport during the Rugby world Cup in England in 2015. When scanning tickets for the match has created an interactive AR content, which could be obtained by using the Blippar app.

In 2017 fans of the football club Frickley Athletic from Yorkshire were given the opportunity to apply augmented reality system. So, if you are scanning programs game days, you can view the main points of the previous games in the series.

In Russian football are also interested in a AR, in August of this year FK “Krasnodar” has submitted a formal AR-masks fans for Instagram. The club published a pilot version of AR effect with their colors and symbols, you can use posting a photo or video to Instagram Stories. A characteristic feature of the effects — a reaction to the emotions of the user. The mask was developed by Quartex Group and Dictator Bureau, and the access is done with the help of a special section “Effects” for members account of FC “Krasnodar”.

Now AR-technologies are especially needed at the judgements and officials of sports teams. For example, tennis fans are familiar with the system Hawk-Eye, fixing the trajectory of a tennis ball. Not many people know that this seemingly modern system exists since 2001 year.


It started its application in a sport like cricket. Today it is used by judges in twenty sports. Many football fans are also well aware of the fact that FC technology has solved the problem of the controversy of “offside”. Now to check the offside enough to put the line offside on the field and check to see where the players.

A little bit about the future of AR and VR in sports

Despite the belief of skeptical citizens that the stadiums are eternal and VR will never replace ‘ em — today we can say that noisy and cramped arenas will soon compete with the points. AR is also increasingly included in the practice of the training process and sports marketing and its application in refereeing is no longer considered something new.

Thus today you may say that virtual reality technology is not likely to be able to completely replace the bleachers and the living presence of the fans, but greatly relieve the stadiums. Systems based on the principles of complementary and virtual reality will help to effectively organize the training process, which obviously can improve athletic performance, add to the entertainment available sports, and may will accelerate the emergence of new world records.

Used photos:
www.realitytechnologies.com/nbas-washington-wizards-use-syncthinks-vr-brain-performance-tech
www.bbc.com/sport/football/44038006
medium.com/hubilo-officil-blog/the-evolution-of-event-ticketing-d3041d6419a9
www.perfect-tennis.com/court-pace-index-explained
ki-news.ru/2019/09/13/fk-krasnodar-predstavil-firmennye-maski-dlya-instagram
readwrite.com/2017/11/08/4-ways-vr-changing-professional-sports

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