Chris Kluwe wants the NFL to adapt emerging technologies and add augmented reality to the football watching experience. In his TED Talk “How augmented reality will change sports… and build empathy” Kluwe outlines steps that he feels the league should take in the near future.
The talk begins with the idea that an augmented reality will happen soon, and the Google Glass that Chris wears on his head throughout the talk punctuates that point. The glass when placed under a helmet will give fans a better idea of the player’s experience.
Footage is shown of Kluwe with a teammate during tackling practice, and some game play at the University of Washington. Visual feedback that tells you about someone else’s experience is good, but Kluwe says we can go further.
Oculus Rift can bring a more immersive experience. The idea of being a football running back, or a soccer player, or a downhill skier is the next step.
Still, virtual reality isn’t the same as augmented reality.
When coaches and managers start to use this technology to gain a competitive advantage, then augmented reality can see a wider exposure. Kluwe outlines previous technology upgrades in NFL history, and for each of them tells us that the game got more exciting and the league grew.
In 2023 Kluwe predicts that the plastic visors already worn by players will display coverage assignments and playbook information. He says that cameras in each corner of the stadium, along with accelerometers placed in the players’ helmets can feed a continuous stream of information to the players.