SportsX’s augmented reality brings in-game overlays to the real world

As gamers, you’ve likely been exposed to some manner of live stat-tracking overlays – especially if you’re a fan of sport-based video games like MLB The Show. Well, thanks to some nifty new Augmented Reality implementation, sports fans could be looking at having those same in-game overlays as part of a real-world experience.

The SportsX AR program comes as part of a new partnership between Amazon Web Services and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. The goal of SportsX’s AR implementation is to enhance the fan experience by providing viewers with everything from live overlays for players and stats to recreating live games for consumers to wander around in.

MLB The Show stat overlay
Live stats like these are useful, interesting, and coming soon to an IRL game near you!      Image by San Diego Studio

The headset itself is relatively sleek and lightweight and uses just a single cord and smartphone to stream live info and graphics to the AR glasses. Using existing technologies like NHL Edge – a program used by the League to track the puck and players – and a smartphone, fans can interact with the game in new ways, as opposed to just watching. The idea is that the overlay will complement the broadcast – enhancing how hockey fans experience the game.

SportsX isn’t just limited to hockey though, which leads us to IBX – the Immersive Basketball Experience. Using optical tracking, 3D modeling, and a video game development engine, viewers can use a mixed-reality headset to put themselves into the game, virtually of course.

SportsX augmented reality headset sports overlay
Image by MLSE

SportsX uses these technologies to create a smooth 3D render of a given basketball game, allowing users to look and walk around the environment (in this case, a basketball court) and take on a new perspective of the game. Essentially, you can relive a basketball game and choose to view it from any position or role you want. Want to get courtside seats? Done. Doing your best coach impression? Go for it! Pretending you’re a star player? Absolutely (but you may be disappointed afterward).

It’s exciting to think about how this AR platform will change live experiences in the future. SportsX is just the start and is still in its early stages – but the door is definitely open now. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see just how much of our normal lives we can enhance and incorporate in this digital age.

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Carl-Edwin Michel

Carl-Edwin is a tech and video game enthusiast. He is the founder and CEO of Northern Arena - one of Canada's biggest esports tournament organizers - and TV and interactive production company Northern Arena Productions. He is also the owner of Mirage Esports, and the creator and executive producer of the Canadian Game Awards.

Carl-Edwin Michel has been reporting on the technology and gaming industry since 2009 as a freelance journalist, lecturer, and radio and TV personality.
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