You know the Super Bowl of the future will include VR, but Microsoft’s HoloLens AR demo goes far beyond basic virtual reality. This is Microsoft’s vision of augmented reality sports in the future.
What would you like to do? Enlarge the screen size? Put the playing field on your coffee table? Have a player burst into the room? On all levels, it is utterly remarkable.
HoloLens AR Super Bowl
It’s the versatility of Microsoft’s HoloLens that makes it stand out. You are not simply immersed in the game as in standard virtual reality. Instead, you can watch it on an expanded screen, turn it into a table-top version or bring players from the game into your living room. Microsoft’s gestural control gets around the challenges of controlling a VR experience. You have control not just inside the media environment, but in how you want the media to appear.
Super bowl 50 and VR
Super Bowl 50 will be the most tech-centric Super Bowl ever. It will be the first to have VR games and VR headsets to put spectators in the middle of the game. But you could also see this as the last traditional media Super Bowl. By the time we get to next year’s game, Oculus, HTC, Sony, and a host of other VR headsets will have been on the market for almost a year. And by then, Google may well have released a new, more permanent version of Google Cardboard.
With VR all around us by 2017, you may be enjoying your last flat screen version of the event. Unless you’re actively trying to avoid the future, you’re going to have a lot more options to immerse yourself in the game next year. In the meantime, if today’s game gets completely boring you can always check out the highlight reel from Puppy Bowl Virtual Reality.
The Super Bowl is one thing (okay, it’s a big deal today), but step back from this for a moment. Think about how this would change our experience of other popular events (July 4th anyone?), our work experience, cinema, or education.
Microsoft’s device is a unique approach to future media. You still have the screen – until you want 3D on your table. Or until you want to pull a character or object out of the event and experience it life-size in your room. Even with standard VR and whatever Magic Leap ends up doing, HoloLens AR experiences may be so real that Microsoft will capture part of the emerging new media market.
The more we see of HoloLens AR, the more we like. It is precisely this kind of versatility that will transform sports events, entertainment, media, learning, etc. Our experience of the world.
Emory Craig is a writer, speaker, and VR consultant with extensive experience in art, new media, and higher education. He speaks at global conferences on innovation, education, and ethical technology in the future. He has published widely and worked with the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Living at the intersection of learning, games, and immersive storytelling, he is fascinated by AI-based avatars, digital twins, and the ethical implications of blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual.