Football fans across North America are gearing up for the biggest weekend of the year. Super Bowl 50 will kick off Sunday, leaving many glued to their TV screens. But what if the game went beyond your TV? What if you could replay major moments in 3-D in the heart of your living room, or pull up the score with a flick of your wrist?
This could be the future of Super Bowl Sunday thanks to virtual reality, according to Microsoft.
The tech giant has released a concept video imagining what sports viewing could be like using its augmented reality gaming device HoloLens.
The video shows users wearing the HoloLens headset while watching a live broadcast of a football game. In the video, users are able to see 360 degree views of the playing field, pinch in the air to zoom in on certain plays and pull up statistics and game information with a single gesture. However, the video also proposes users could create their own 3-D instant replays right on their living room table — showing off HoloLens’ potential.
HoloLens, unveiled in January 2015, is an augmented reality headset that allows wearers to interact with and see 3-D digital holograms in their own environment.
The device is quite different from other virtual reality headsets on the market because it allows users to interact with 3-D holograms wherever they might be using the headset.
Since holograms are made of light, HoloLens tricks the brain into thinking light is matter by producing millions of light particles inside a light engine. The light then enters the device’s lenses and bounces around between layers of blue, red and green before getting to the user’s eye.
A Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) and a series of sensors allow the device to run without any wires or direct connections to the user’s computer and processes graphics in real time. To make it even more real, HoloLens features spatial sound so users can “hear” holograms.
The headset isn’t available to consumers yet, but if Microsoft did indeed create a HoloLens experience for the Super Bowl, fans would be able to interact with the sport more than ever before.
It could also make the game interactive for fans — making Super Bowl Sunday more about the football and less about the chicken wings for the more passive viewers.
For example, Microsoft could incorporate a gaming element into the experience. Have users test their best throw against their favourite team’s star quarterback, perhaps. Or join a re-enactment of a team huddle.
Although Microsoft’s in-game experience isn’t available this weekend, CBS Sports is stepping up its coverage of Super Bowl 50.
A replay system will give viewers a 360-degree perspective and higher resolution than previously ever seen for the game. Thirty-six cameras strung around the upper deck of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, can freeze the moment and revolve around the play before continuing to show the scene.
Viewers will be able to check out the quarterback’s view from the pocket to other players’ perspectives on the field, and it can be animated, too.
© 2016 Shaw Media