While augmented reality continues its collision course with regular adoption, technology will now play a role in one of the most anticipated boxing matches of the year.
The hypnotic rematch between challenger Tyson Fury and champion Deontay Wilder (the hunters who fought for a draw in December 2018) followed on Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
To take advantage of this moment, AR studio Imagination Park has created an AR experience with legendary boxing and mixed martial arts cutman Jacob "Stitch" Duran, who will work in the corner of Fury for the competition.
The experience will be available worldwide at the end of February via the mobile ImagineAR app in the Apple App Store and Google Play. After starting the app, users have access to the experience by selecting "AR Near Me" in the menu and then choosing from one of the three AR Near! options appear at the bottom of the screen. Once in the AR experience, users can place 2D cartoon images of Stitch (a familiar face with every major UFC match and then with Bellator) in their environment by aligning the guidelines in the camera view on a horizontal surface.
the best AR photo made by users through the app receives a Stitch Prize package from Imagination Park. To be eligible, users must share their photo via Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or Facebook under the hashtag #StitchWithMe.
Since augmented reality is about to become a major component in the advertising world, Imagination Park is also turning the script to traditional ads to promote themselves during the fight. Stitch will carry an advertisement for ImagineAR.com and promote the company as an "AR as a service" product for publishing AR content on his vest.
"Imagination Park is absolutely delighted to be part of this historic rematch represented by Stitch in Tyson Fury & # 39; s Corner," said Alen Paul Silverrstieen, CEO and president of Imagination Park, in a statement. "We are the first-ever augmented reality company that has been represented for decades at such a historic sporting event by a legend in both boxing and UFC. Millions of sports fans worldwide see our ImagineAR logo and website on Stitch & # 39; s vest in the ring. "
The company has previously published AR content for the NBA team the Sacramento Kings and the baseball team Erie SeaWolves, but this experience is the company's largest sport-related activation.
The role of sport in the cultural landscape, particularly through social media, makes augmented reality content an ideal technology to interest the public.
For example, for Super Bowl LIV earlier this month, Snapchat offered several AR experiences, with reaction lenses with game highlights and front camera effects being the most available. In addition, various advertisers, namely Verizon, TurboTax, Pepsi, Tide and Mountain Dew, have sponsored AR experiences in combination with the game.
Snapchat has also published AR experiences for the NBA Finals and Wimbledon.
Elsewhere, USA Today has launched AR stories about the NHL All-Star Game and the Women's World Cup, while The New York Times and the Washington Post have both published AR content for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
As AR experiences become commonplace for the greatest moments of sport, technology has the momentum to become standard at virtually every sporting event.
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