Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies have been around for quite some time but have, more often than not, remained in the category of ‘niche.’
Can Live Experiences be Enhanced by Reality Technologies?
Over the last half-a-decade, though, they’ve both boomed into the mainstream, with VR rising to prominence through the price drops of headsets and AR becoming the hot topic of gaming thanks to the colossal mobile game Pokémon Go.
From its launch state in 2016, the AR of the title has been developed further, with the little animated monsters now being able to be obscured by real-world objects rather than just providing an overlay.
The craze has even reached one of the most retro of titles, Pac-Man, which will soon be getting the augmented reality treatment by utilising the technology of Google Maps.
Still, a feature within mobile games is just the beginning for AR’s widespread use, with many other industries looking to leverage it to enhance their products.
Most interestingly, those that dabble in broadcasting live performances are looking to apply AR to their showings which, at first, seems almost counterintuitive as viewers will be seeking to immerse themselves in the real showing. So, can live be enhanced by AR tech?
What Exactly Constitutes Augmented Reality Technology?
Where virtual reality puts users into a senses-encompassing environment where they can see, hear, and interact with the created world, AR overlays what you see in the real world.
Over the last few years, truly tangible benefits are being discovered and enjoyed by users, with its ability to add further to what’s seen on screen by way of animated characters or additional information.
Computer-generated features, 3D designs, and information pop-ups have all been applied through AR-centric apps to make products more interactive, with additional value being applied through the displays.
It can range from recognising objects and images to unlock a digital file that explores more, to the tech being centric to the experience, with users needing to explore their surroundings to trigger AR displays.
There’s a huge chance that AR will become an increasingly prominent feature of our everyday lives moving forward, with even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeing it as a passage to more viable remote work.
Of course, going digital has been going on for decades, even to the extent now that events are being held in virtual worlds, as happened with the virtual music concert of rapper Post Malone, but AR will bring such digital advances to live products of the real world.
Applying AR to the Live, Real World
One of the most prominent and high-profile applications of augmented reality has been with the massive music festival Coachella. The annual event has attracted some of the biggest talents in the world, with it standing as the most profitable and attended of its kind in the United States, spurred on by celebrity attendees and a focus on fashion.
Since 2017, Coachella has integrated augmented reality for attendees, ranging from an app that shows a 3D scene of the grounds to their recent immersive stage experience, through which AR filters react to the audio of speakers.
AR’s helping to make the live experience more interactive, and in the entertainment realm of live casino platforms, it’s making the real-time, real-world tables and croupiers playable over the internet. They’re altering the reality of what’s on show to make it interactive and a viable, authentic entertainment experience.
Initially seen as a live stream of the game show or table game, the user will get an overlay on the screen that allows them to both see the betting options as well as place those bets before the wheel spins or the cards get dealt.
This looks to just be the beginning, though, as the competitive live section is expected to further integrate new tech like AR to further the experience.
Company Live Nation is looking to integrate such live entertainment streams with AR to show them in 3D when the device is directed towards a flat surface.
On the flip side, as opposed to bringing an event to a remote consumer, some live venues are following Coachella in making their in-person experiences more interactive.
At Madame Tussauds in Singapore, the Bollywood Pavilion display uses a digital mirror to put attendees in the centre of the stage with bright lights and back-up dancers around them.
Augmented reality continues to develop into a more and more integral part of our everyday lives, even to the extent that it’s being used both at live events and in the streams of live events.
While altering what’s on show within a live stream seems counter to people getting a live stream to experience something in the moment, its applications so far have only proven that AR can take the live experience further.