Quintar, AT&T Create New AR Experience for G League Fans in the Stands
AT&T is the official 5G Innovation Partner of the NBA and WNBA and since 2022 it has been discovering new ways to use 5G bandwidth to enhance the G-League fan experience via Game View and now Game Vision. The most recent enhancement? A test with Quintar at two games to give fans an XR experience that allows for Apple iPhone users to open the G-League app, fire up AR, and see overlays of real-time game data through their phone and overlaid on the physical court.
In a statement, the NBA says it is really enthusiastic about the use of AR to enhance the viewing experience for G League games and is looking forward to exploring new opportunities for fans in the future.
Fans at the arena were able to personalize their view of statistics from their own seat, a big step up from previous offerings that were just a locked off phone from one angle.
“This type of experience needs utility and that means it works wherever you are and with the same type of utility, whether you are in the first row or the last row,” says Jeff Jonas, Quintar, co-founder. “We think this is a great fit for basketball as it provides greater insight to the game for the big fan but also gamification which a more casual observer may be interested in.”
The beginning of the AR deployment involves a survey of the court of play as well as the arena. Quintar has figured out how to survey a challenging venue like a golf course with 18 holes so an arena, and it’s more repeatable dimensions, is a bit easier.
“Our patented survey process makes use of AI and continues to get more efficient the more we do,” explains Jonas. “Unlike a golf course, a basketball arena has constant dimensions and features that our solution can take advantage of which makes enabling an arena a bit easier than enabling a golf course.”
Mitch Farber, AT&T, vice president of acquisition, retention, and go-to-market, says that 5G advanced connectivity with fast speeds and low latency is the ideal platform to support this rich, real-time content.
“AR has the capability of bringing sports fans the enhanced, customized content and experiences they want, while keeping them connected to the action of the game,” he says. “We connected with Quintar following their work with the PGA TOUR because we felt their technology could be a great fit for basketball as it provides real-time data in a user-friendly, easily customizable way, to enhance fans game time experience inside the venue.”
Jonas says AT&T has a lot of relationships across sports and entertainment and that sports applications are a great way to drive interest in other types of AR applications that go well beyond a sports venue.
“This same technology can go into everyday life and there is no reason that all those places that have data around them like a department store or grocery store or amusement park can’t use AR,” he says. “Until they are AR enabled you can’t see the data, and that’s what we’re doing: enabling people to visualize data that already exists in a clean way. It’s like radio waves: they’re all around us but unless you have a radio you can’t listen to it So we’re like a radio for XR.”
A big part of the value proposition is that as people begin to engage with the data the data can better understand buying behaviors and can offer up wayfinding or virtual coupons to drive merchandise or concession sales. Have a sweet spot for BBQ but don’t know where to find it at the ballpark? The BBQ may eventually find you.
“They can push the merchandise they want to users in a personalized way,” says Jonas.
Farber says AT&T’s work around AR involves multiple companies as AT&T continues to explore new opportunities.
“Previously, we worked with Nexus Studios on AT&T 5G Game View in the WNBA app and AT&T StatsZone within the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks apps,” he adds