How the Los Angeles Rams Added Augmented Reality Experiences for Fans at SoFi Stadium and Fans at Home
A new shared augmented-reality platform made its NFL debut at SoFi Stadium Dec. 4. ARound, a mixed-reality company, used 3D spatial computing to let fans virtually interact with the Los Angeles Rams game in a number of unique ways. Fans who downloaded the RamsHouseAR.com app were able to create their own avatar, activate blown-up AR versions of their favorite players and even join in on big-play celebrations by throwing things like a “virtual octopus onto the field”—all through their smartphone. The AR experience wasn’t just limited to fans at the game; the app also features a virtual replica of SoFi stadium in which fans can kick virtual field goals and interact with other fans in attendance. ARound and SoFi will continue deploying this technology over the remainder of the Rams’ home games this season, before using the offseason to see what improvements can be made.
AR isn’t new to NFL stadiums (how could we forget the mixed-reality panther at Bank of America Stadium last year), but what’s intriguing about ARound and SoFi’s use of AR is the shared experience. It’s encouraging how quickly mixed reality went from being a viewable-only novelty in stadiums to an interactive experience that reaches outside the confines of the stands to fans across the world. In our Future of Sports 2.0 report in 2016, we wrote about the ways AR and VR could change the stadium experience, and while we may still be a ways off from fans in attendance pulling up advanced stats through AR glasses, great strides have been made in the way teams and stadiums are deploying AR in just the last couple of years.