Trend Alert: Hologram football

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

As World Cup fever takes hold, it’s remarkable to think of how consumption of sport and entertainment has changed, just in the four years since the event last took place. During the 2018 tournament, more people than ever will be watching matches online via live streams or video-on-demand, and whether they watch at home, at work, on the bus or in the pub, they’ll be sharing their experience, reactions and opinions via social media. These are just a few of the reasons why Millennials have been credited with transforming the World Cup.

Scientists at the University of Washington, in collaboration with Facebook and Google, are developing what they believe will be the future of sports viewing, making the experience of watching a football match more immersive and interactive than ever. Their technology, created using artificial intelligence and FIFA video games, allows fans to view a match in hologram form through Microsoft’s HoloLens device. The match will be visible in 3D in front of the viewer, which effectively means you could be watching a miniature version of your favourite players chasing the ball around your living room or dining table.

At the moment, the technology can only be used to watch past matches, turning YouTube videos into augmented reality, but its creators hope it will be possible to view live matches in hologram form in the future. They said, “Our current implementation is not real time, but we are working on a version that could potentially allow live processing.”

Much like virtual reality, augmented reality (AR) is seen by many people as a novelty at this stage, and some are dubious as to whether it will ever be more than a fad. However, as the technology advances, it could quickly become as much a part of our daily lives as watching TV or using a smartphone, and even one day replace these devices. A global, community-driven event like the World Cup is the perfect playing field for developers to find a use for AR that is engaging, exciting and creates an unbeatable user experience.

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