The Thinkwell Group has partnered up with the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group to create an interactive and immersive football experience that makes generous use of augmented reality to put fans right into the game. The attraction is set up at Times Square in New York, and for $39, guests can have a range of football experiences that use new technologies to put them closer to the game than anything else currently available. Thinkwell had previously worked on attractions based on iconic fantasy franchises like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games for prominent clients, using AR tricks like projections on shaped objects and linking together multiple large displays, and has used all of those tricks and then some to craft a rich, multi-faceted experience for NFL fans.
The NFL Experience consists of multiple parts, a few of which are especially noteworthy for the powerful technology that they employ. The Super Bowl Celebration Room puts fans in the shoes of players on the field, celebrating a Super Bowl win. Users' motions are captured by an array of cameras and sensors, and the players do the same thing on the screen, in real time. Huddle Up, meanwhile, turns fans into quarterbacks, immersed in a huddle to discuss a game-changing strategy. In a similar vein, the NFL Game Plan Challenge features coach Jon Gruden, and lets fans plan out a winning strategy with him. There are other experiences available, as seen in the gallery below.
The whole experience is played out around fans, making them feel as if they're in the action. A particularly exciting press release from The Thinkwell Group hints that it may have plans to update the attraction in such a way that fans can experience the Super Bowl through AR, either live or with the use of a pre-recorded and touched up experience. This could potentially be accomplished a variety of ways, such as 360-degree cameras and motion sensors on the outskirts of the field, small cameras on players' helmets or uniforms, or operators with special recording equipment on the field during the game. It's worth noting that the press release in question did not outright state that the Super Bowl would become a part of the experience.