The Chicago Bulls may not be very relevant in the current NBA standings, but they are leading the league in a different area.
With help from Nexus Studios, AT&T has introduced StatsZone, an augmented reality experience that presents game stats in an immersive format in the Chicago Bulls app.
Using Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore for horizontal plane detection, StatZone anchors a tabletop-sized virtual basketball court with customizable dashboards, shot graphics and animations that help visualize the numbers behind the game.
Fans can check out game stats from the past five years, but the real treat comes during live games, where StatZone presents real-time stats and festive animations. Possible future features include connecting StatZone with their imaginative basketball teams.
“With the United Center currently not hosting fans, we’ve focused on building home experiences around game days, and StatsZone is a truly innovative use of AR technology to bring our fans closer to the action and provide them with cool personalized content. the players and stats they care about most, ” Dan Moriarty, senior director of digital at the Chicago Bulls, said in a statement.
The experience is available starting today via the Chicago Bulls app for iOS and Android. Despite the link with AT&T and its 5G services, the app also works with other providers over 4G networks or Wi-Fi.
The idea of presenting statistics in an AR graphical format was first suggested by the NBA app for Magic Leap, although the experience in Magic Leap is much more immersive.
“AT&T StatsZone is an exciting new product that enhances the live game by giving fans access to real-time statistics that interest them personally,” said Luke Ritchie, head of interactive art & XR at Nexus Studios. “It is great to continue to tap into the potential of new technologies with visionary partners such as AT&T to deliver advanced experiences to fans.”
Based on the language of the rollout, AT & T’s interest in introducing StatZone with the Chicago Bulls is intended to showcase its 5G networking capabilities. Increasingly, robust AR experiences are a favorite way in the wireless and mobile industries (see also: Verizon and Super Bowl LV and The Mandalorian AR app) to defend 5G. After bringing 5G networks to Chicago’s United Center for the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, the Bulls are the logical team to launch this particular experience.
There are examples of AR adoption in the sports world, but the NBA and its teams seem to be experimenting with AR earlier and often. In addition to the aforementioned Magic Leap app, the NBA was the first to come out of the gate with an ARKit app in NBA AR. The competition also took advantage of Snapchat’s image recognition capabilities for fans attending the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. Additionally, the Sacramento Kings have unveiled their new uniforms through an AR experience, while the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks have integrated AR into broadcast and marketing, respectively.
The latest AR preview appeals to fans with a hunger for the game’s X’s and O’s. If you match this description, you’ll want to monitor whether your team has a network relationship with AT&T.