Earlier this week, Chelsea FC unveiled their pioneering new augmented reality app; Chelsea Kicker. The project was presented in front of a host of British companies headed by Karen Brady, the minister for Culture, Media and Sport at the UK-China Creative Innovation Forum in Shanghai.
With the recent success of Nintendo and their AR game ‘Pokemon Go’ it was only a matter of time before the relentless surge of developing technology found its way into the sports media industry. The decision by Chelsea to utilise AR shows a strong commitment to innovation and provides the latest technology to the fingertips of its fan base.
The app allows users to engage and compete with fans all over the world in the quest to become Chelsea FC’s ultimate freestyle footballer. Users see their favourite Chelsea player seemingly come to life at their desk, table or on the move with the use of Tango, Google’s gateway to AR. With unlockable content including legendary players and over 50 items of kit the game seeks to provide longevity and creativity for users.
With Google at the helm of the new Tango technology it serves as a catalyst in driving gaming to the digital and mobile platforms as consumers opt to sacrifice depth for convenience. The ability to pick up and play whenever and where ever is an attractive asset to even the most hardcore console or PC gamer. The Tango technology is currently only available on the Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro smartphone, the Phab 2 Pro and so the widespread impact on consumers will take time to fully develop. We expect more and more to come though as companies are forced to take the ultimate Darwinian test; evolve or be extinct.
The competitive nature of sports fans and the desire to win from gamers across the world provide all the required ingredients for AR to become a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry. With the constant development in technology and consumer interest, it’s not yet known if Chelsea Kicker will be the pinnacle of AR sports games. One thing that is for certain is that they are the first to breach the gap between sports gaming and AR, however we bet it won’t be that way for long.
Deputy Editor & Social Media Specialist