While most of us can’t get to a game right now, we’ve been busy dreaming up ways technology can take you closer to the action, and with Augmented Reality, we believe that AFL fans and Australia can lay claim to deploying the technology in this way for the first time ever, globally.

In case you didn’t know, Augmented Reality – or AR for short – is an incredible way to mix virtual experiences into the real world. It’s very cool, immersive and powerful technology, and while some innovative applications of it so far have been the wildly successful Pokémon Go game, viewing animals from Google, or to place furniture around your home, through our partnership with the AFL we’ve enhanced what we hope is the first of many currently static features of the app using AR.

We know from the way our fans interact with the app, that outside of streaming the game, or checking the scores and ladder, the announcement of each team’s line-up of players each week – who is in, and who is out – generates the most interest.

With that in mind, we updated the AFL Live Official app to give users a totally immersive way to view and interact with each club’s line-up for the coming round, and it’s features like these that we think will get better with 5G.

By following the prompts in the app, users simply need to find a surface and activate AR. It’s completely interactive, so users can pinch in and out to zoom in on the players, and tap on them to see their stats projected onto the virtual big screen.

AFL goes augmented reality with Live Pass

Cool, but what’s next?

This is an exciting new frontier for the way we bring sporting content to our users. It builds on a long and proud history of blending sport and technology together to bring the game, and all the peripheral aspects of it, to fans in new and better ways.

Developments using AR like this join a bunch of features fans love in the app, notably every match streamed via the app and Live Pass; speed and distance analysis for each player via the Telstra Tracker; and the brilliant (if we do say so!) AFL Stats Pro, where fans can watch individual player highlights from any match to see every involvement of their favourite player.

Sport in Australia was among the first in the world to return to play safely, and it’s that pioneering and resilient spirit that our team has taken inspiration from to develop this feature.

With AR, we see a future where Telstra Tracker allows us to watch players in real-time as they run around the field during a game to make it an entirely new experience all over again. We hope to give users the ability to isolate a player, produce real-time position replays and give you professional-grade tools from the comfort of your lounge room. Your fantasy league won’t know what hit them.

These experiences show the power of 5G as it becomes more available to our users. We’re familiar with the overwhelming speed and bandwidth benefits that comes from 5G availability, but we’re going one step further, fusing it with our innovative spirit to make experiences that have been teased for years a reality.

Stay tuned as we continue to mix sport and technology to bring better and better experiences to all footy fans.