Whenever attending a sporting event live, you tend to miss out on certain things, like commercials for bad beers, the chance to stare at a screen, and a constant stream of analytics that we all pretend to understand. A new augmented reality app for World Cup attendees intends to change that (the stats part, anyway).
For those in Qatar watching in person, the FIFA+ app provides a live augmented reality overlay of stats, different camera angles, VAR replays as on TV, and various other features. One gets the sense that the people in bad seats will use it much more than those close up.
Attendees can point their phone’s camera at the field (the pitch, sorry), at which point an overlay pops up giving individual stats on players, their movement speed (have never wondered about this before), and individual heatmaps. It won’t tell you what they ate that day or who they’re dating, though.
The future of watching football is here 🤯
(via nazwif/TikTok) pic.twitter.com/5tskjSFLFf
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 2, 2022
It must be stated offhand that this particular feature is only useful if you’re actually at the stadium in Qatar, and will not work if you point your phone in the general direction of Qatar from your front lawn in Cleveland or wherever. I tried.
World Cup attendees will likely (hopefully) not stare at the entire game through their phone after buying an expensive ticket to a rare event, and glancing at the app now and then could compliment the experience, especially when dumping a drink on a ref for a missed call or wanting to know what happened while stuck in line at the restroom.
It’s an instant way to diffuse any confusion about what’s going on. Whether or not it’s a good thing to have 80,000 quasi-referees in the stands remains to be seen.