How Hololens Is Helping Golf Fans Get More Out Of Watching The Sport
Augmented reality isn't just used for Pokemon Go—now, sports enthusiasts can enhance their game through Microsoft's AR technology too
With help from Microsoft and Seattle based Augmented Reality software maker Taqtile, the PGA Tour is experimenting with innovative ways to engage fans, design courses, improve operations and provide benefit to golfers. At The Players Championship tournament earlier this year, PGA Tour officials, sponsors and players got a chance to test out new demos on Microsoft’s Hololens device, interacting with virtual maps of holes and accompanying statistics.
The ability to visualize gameplay and see hole-to-hole shot data for individual players is, needless to say, far more captivating than staring at an excel spreadsheet, and serves to further engage participants at all levels. Broadcasters, for instance, can use Hololens to explain different shots and tactics as part of their commentary, while the players can picture those different shots to map out possible strategies and analyze past performance.
Taqtile VP of Product Management Kelly Malone tells Geekwire, “[the addition of AR] also enables shared experiences. Multiple people can be looking at the same hologram at the same time. This can be really helpful for a player-coach conversation.”
He goes on to mention that sports technology is being adopted by many sports leagues as an opportunity to attract younger customers. During the same month that Taqtile was demoing its product for the golf tournament, Malone and co. were offshores in Spain, where the team represented Taqtile in talks with the highest-valued sports franchise in the world—Real Madrid—to bring augmented reality into the realm of soccer. And as it turns out, Microsoft has already secured deals with NFL, NASCAR and other organizations as well, proving that AR technology is a welcome addition to any country’s favorite past time.
There’s something alluring about sports entering the digital space, and with augmented reality, the possibilities are endless. Once headsets become lighter yet more powerful, its hard to envision a sport that hasn’t embraced AR for its entertaining, strategic and stat-keeping value. And it looks like we’re not too far from that future: people have already tried AR for golfing after all.