Football Matches beyond the screen – Surround AR TV


As we are approaching the world cup more and more advertisements start to push their stuff via soccer love, I will also focus on football AR. ;-)

Today, you already experience Augmented Reality in football and sports events. Well, actually, it has been there for quite a while now. Even before you first heard of Flartoolkit or smartphones. Real Augmented Reality has been there even longer: an anamorphosis will let flat ads pop out of the ground. Viewed from the correct perspective you get the impression of having a 3D object floating around (as used in street sign paintings or by well-known street artist Julian Beever) Besides, penalty shot distances, flags, scores, circles or offside augmentations are every-day business for companies like Orad. My own thesis extended this approach to get a user-dependent augmentation with customized views.

But we might be onto something new here with the MIT Media Lab extending your tiny telly screen by a movable window, namely your smartphone! Just choose your own perspective that can freely move away from what you get readily chewed on the restricted screen. MIT starts explaining it like:

Surround sound technology uses multiple speakers to extend the world of a TV show or movie beyond the edges of the screen: the audience can, in effect, hear what’s happening just off-camera. Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab have developed a system called Surround Vision that uses ordinary handheld devices to do something analogous, but with images. “If you’re watching TV and you hear a helicopter in your surround sound,” says Santiago Alfaro, a graduate student in the lab who’s leading the project “wouldn’t it be cool to just turn around and be able to see that helicopter as it goes into the screen?”

Video here.

(C) MIT MediaLab

Indeed, it would be cool. You could pan the football camera to observe the foul or the offside that’s just always out of the screen! If it extends your telly, it’s AR. But we could also just imagine grabbing our device to navigate through a 360° panoramic video (as produced by companies like ImmersiveMedia). That will be awesome. Once, we, as techno-early-adopters, run around with helmet mounted camera devices our friends may experience our actions, BMX cyclings or concert stage divings in real-time from their couches. :-) Or vise versa.

Well, let’s get back to MIT and how they did it:

Once he’d rigged up a handheld with the requisite motion sensors, Alfaro shot video footage of the street in front of the Media Lab from three angles simultaneously. A television set replays the footage from the center camera. If a viewer points a motion-sensitive handheld device directly at the TV, the same footage appears on the device’s screen. But if the viewer swings the device either right or left, it switches to one of the other perspectives. The viewer can, for instance, watch a bus approach on the small screen before it appears on the large screen.

More to come… and what will be the best world cup AR App? Let’s see next weeks. ;-)

Leave a Reply