B.J. Vander Linden, chief information officer for the Utah Jazz, envisions a time when augmented reality will transform the in-arena experience for fans.
The Utah Jazz are all about fan experience. To that end, the team is currently undergoing a massive, $125 million renovation of Vivint Smart Home Arena. When the project is complete, the building will bigger and better with new seats, eating options, executive suites and improved WiFi.
Those are all great, but the best may be yet to come if things go where Jazz chief information officer B.J. Vander Linden believes they will in the future.
In an interview with Mark J. Burns for SportTechie, Vander Linden opined that augmented reality could one day change the way we experience live games at the arena.
When asked about how things could change over the next 20 years, the Jazz CIO had this to say —
"Augmented reality within a connected platform will be the norm. People will watch the game from their seat in the arena with multiple screen overlays on the game and off to the side showing everything from body movement measurements to statistical details to projected movement patterns. Fans will be able to see different camera angels from their single seat, and will have things activate as they look at them."
For stat geeks and hoops junkies like myself, AR is a game-changer.
20 years ago, that kind of technology was reserved for the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Now AR tech is reality and Vander Linden believes that it could impact the sports world sooner rather than later in various operational aspects, if not the arena itself —
"Twelve months might be a bit early, but those out front will begin to deploy it in sales, marketing, and potentially arena operations roles. Teams will begin looking at ways to bring new experiences to the fans, and AR is the best way to provide those capabilities without significant facility investments."
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To read Burns’ entire interview with Vander Linden, go HERE.