People have watched sports throughout human history. While our love of sports hasn’t changed over the centuries, the way we carry out this pastime has. Technology now plays a big part in how we experience our favourite sports, with the following examples showing how this works.
The Chance to Feel Closer to the Action
Perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen in sports in recent times is the way that technology helps us feel closer to the action. The use of virtual reality, augmented reality and live streaming are all part of this trend. With players using smart wearable trackers and even the ball having an in-built tracker in some games, it’s now possible to feel as though you’re right there at the heart of the action in sports like football and rugby.
We can also take part in games in various ways, from slipping on a VR headset and getting out on a virtual pitch with VR Premier League Matches on Sky to taking the role of manager or trainer in a realistic simulation, like Rugby Union Team Manager. Another approach comes when you play Ruby Walsh Champion’s Gold and other slots based on sports. This game takes the horse racing world and adds it to a classic slot machine format, with images like horses and trophies. The latest technology is used to offer a random outcome on every spin, with a free spin round acting as a bonus that can be triggered.
The Role of the Blockchain
The blockchain has helped to revolutionise many industries in a relatively short period, but what does it mean for sports fans? The chance for peer-to-peer transactions and the creation of unique digital assets make it seem likely that this technology playing a bigger part in our sporting adventures in the future, leading to increased fan interaction and engagement.
This interesting study by Protokol into the ways that the blockchain could be used for sports fans includes areas such as fan tokens, digital collectibles and fan loyalty programs. It might even be used to make the process of buying tickets easier and fairer for loyalty supporters. Early in 2023, Soare signed a deal with the EPL to include the league’s teams and players in their blockchain-based fantasy football game, meaning that they can offer official NFTs.
Sports in the Metaverse: The Future?
All of this leads us to wonder what the future holds for sports fans. One exciting possibility is that it moves towards the metaverse, allowing us to blur the line between the physical sports taking place on a pitch or court and our digital lives. Some of the tech innovations we’ve looked at point in that direction, as it was reported in 2022 that Manchester City was developing a metaverse stadium, while Meta organised an immersive virtual tour of the Rugby World Cup across France in 2023,
Sport is unlikely to ever lose its massive appeal for millions of fans across the planet. However, the use of cutting-edge technology may help us to appreciate it in new ways and feel as though we’re now all part of the action.