How Augmented Reality will change sports
Augmented Reality is going to modernise our lives in such a way just like the internet and cellphones did. The technology although in its development stages seems to be very promising. With potential applications in almost any field, as for now augmented reality is used for entertainment, robotics, games, engineering design, military training etc. In this article we will discuss what actually augmented reality is and what possible future applications it may have. But first
What actually is Augmented Reality
Abbreviated as AR, Augmented Reality is a type of virtual reality that replicates and simulates real life environment inside a computer. It generates a composite view for the user that is composed of the real scene viewed by the user super imposed by a virtual scene that is generated by the computer. This augmentation enhances the sensory perception of the user and they feel as they are seeing or interacting with a virtual world. The idea of augmented reality is to display a system in front of the users eye in which he cannot tell the difference between the real and virtual world.
This artificial environment is created with the help of computer softwares and hardwares the generate a virtual world and present it in front of the user’s eyes that feels like a real environment.
To enter into a virtual reality, a user has to wear special gloves, earphones, and goggles, all of which receive their input from the computer system. When this happens, at least three of the five senses are controlled by the computer.
The key to augmented reality is the software. These are written in special 3D augmented reality programs such as D’Fusion, Unifye Viewer or FLARToolKit. These programs allow the developer to intertwine the digital world of the computer with the real time environment. Most Augmented Reality applications are built in Flash or Shockwave and require a webcam require the use of a webcam to deliver information.
So now we know that augmented reality is a type of Virtual Reality that interacts with the environment.
Then what is Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is the creation of a virtual world that a user can interact with. This virtual world is designed in such a way that the user finds it difficult to tell what’s real and what’s not. So now you see the difference between the two. In augmented reality a virtual world interacts with a real world while in virtual reality there is a virtual world with which we interact and which looks real.
How will it change the way sports is played
Augmented reality is going to find many applications in future sports. Its going to change the way sports is played and experienced by an audience.
For example try to view a game from a footballer’s point of view. He looks around himself but cannot find another player to pass the ball. Suddenly a green spot appears on the grass and as he kicks the ball towards this spot, a player of his team emerges in this spot. That may sound like a video game. But in his Ted talk Chris Kluwe said that’s how real football will be played in a not-to-distant future. He said that this will not only change the way games are played, this technology will also change the business of sports In his own words he said that “Augmented reality will be a part of sports because it’s too profitable not to be,”
Another thing that’s going to change in sports is that the audience will be able to see the game from a player’s point of view. With Occulus rift and other technology emerging so rapidly soon we’ll be able to perceive what our favourite players see while in the playground.
Another big change will be coaches and managers will be able to see all kinds of information about a player while on the field. This could give a better understanding to them about their own player which in turn will help them win matches. “Teams always use technology to win games,” Kluwe says. “They like winning. It makes them money.”
Current applications of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Currently augmented reality applications include global positioning system (GPS) to point the user’s location. It is also used in NASA to train astronauts for space missions and in the military training for soldiers. But the most common of all uses is in computer games. Surly Augmented reality is not going to stop there and will be soon applying to sports. It will happen because people want that experience. What is a fan’s experience going to be when he sees his favourite player hit a six through his eyes. Or when he’s Messi sprinting down the pitch to score a goal for his team or maybe as Federer playing in the Wimbeldon?
How profound a person’s experience is going to be when he’s going down the side of a mountain at 70 miles an hour as an Olympic downhill skier. Fans want to be their favourite player and this is the technology that will let them achieve that!
What other doors this technology will open
But this is not the only use augmented reality will have. It opens a vast and immense field of applications. One of the few things this device has the potential of is bringing empathy within our species by literally showing someone what it looks like to walk in the other person’s shoes. Although, this technology is very promising in the sports market. But it’s also worth a lot for a teacher in a classroom showing a bully how harmful his actions are from the perspective of the victim. Its worth a lot to scientists trying to inspire kids about science and space. This technology is actually worth for the advancement for the human species just as the internet and cell phones are.
Boys and girls, Augmented Reality is coming. What we make of it. That’s up to us.