Entrepreneur and sports fan, Emmanuelle Roger co-founded Immersiv.io 4 years ago to build the future of the fan experience. She’s very proud that they’re now a 15-person team operating at an international scale, recognized for their expertise in augmented reality (Magic Leap Official Creator and Mixed Reality Microsoft Partner), and awarded for the sports solutions they’ve built (Dreamland XR, MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference). Today, she foresees the advent of augmented reality in our everyday life and how it will disrupt our interaction with the digital world, and together with her team they work hard to anticipate the new opportunities it will bring for sports fans. In this interview, she talks about what Immersiv.io has to offer and what’s next for the company.
E-3 Magazine: What exactly does Immersiv.io offer?
Emmanuelle Roger: Immersiv.io is a startup working in the field of augmented reality to enhance the sports fan experience. We rely on the latest innovations (like machine learning, computer vision, real-time data) to design new ways for teams and leagues to engage their audience by sharing immersive and interactive experiences with their fans. With our white label solution, ARISE, the company provides fans with an unprecedented immersive experience, whether they be in the stadium or at home. Through AR interactive content, fans can directly interact with the players on the field through their mobile phone and display real-time statistics at their convenience.
How does your solution work?
Roger: ARISE is an interactive experience allowing fans to better understand what’s happening during sports competitions with augmented reality content. Every fan can interact with the players on the field through their smartphone (or smartglasses) by clicking on them to display real-time statistics (like a player’s instant speed, heatmap, goals, passes). They can also find further information with player rankings, lineups in AR on the field, seasonal statistics and every interesting match event. Statistics are displayed in AR directly on the pitch and offer fans new possibilities to enjoy the game by creating their own experience and get all the information they want, when they want, without taking their eyes off the game.
What are the customer-side requirements? Do they need special devices to use your service?
Roger: On the sports events side, we need to work closely with live tracking and live statistics providers to integrate real-time data into our solution. On the end-user side, the solution is requiring high connectivity in order to display AR content which is perfectly synchronized with what’s happening on the field and corresponding to what the user actually sees. The end-user also needs an AR-enabled smartphone, equipped with sensors that properly detect the pitch and support the AR content. Our solution is also made for smartglasses, like Nreal or Magic Leap, and we work on the latest AR devices available on the market.
Why did you start Immersiv.io to begin with?
Roger: Immersiv.io was founded in 2016 by me (CEO) and Stéphane Guerin (CTO). Former collaborators of a company delivering digital solutions for the sports industry for years (FIFA, UEFA, Canal +, or Fox Sports), we were convinced that the future of the sports industry would be in the creation of immersive fan experiences. As augmented reality is already considered as the next digital wave by the tech giants and will disrupt our interaction with the digital world, the company was founded for the purpose of giving new opportunities for leagues and clubs to engage further with their audience through the latest emerging technologies around augmented reality.
How could your solution potentially help customers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the different challenges of reopening?
Roger: As sports events remain, even partially, behind closed doors, the sports industry must rely on digital technologies to create engaging experiences for their remote audience. Sports brands must see this period as an opportunity to reimagine themselves and create a long-distance relationship between teams and fans. Our company has decided to launch a new solution to bring home the stadium experience for every fan. We’ve created a second-screen experience around a 3D mini-pitch gathering players’ live tracking and statistics, exactly like they were in a stadium. Fans can also get closer to their favorite players by making them appear in their living rooms in AR, with real-size 3D avatars and volumetric videos. We have also explored the future of broadcast, as AR will permit us to extend the screen with personalized content, allowing every fan to display multiple screens in front of them on demand. With the reopening of sporting arenas, sports teams will also need to create new types of experiences to bring back fans and attract new audiences into the stadium. Creating something new, never seen before in stadiums, will be the perfect way to engage again with fans.
How are you connected to SAP?
Roger: Immersiv.io was selected by SAP to join the SAP.io accelerator program for a special cohort gathering the most innovative startups creating solutions for sports arenas, in order to study opportunities for the future SAP Garden in Munich that will be home to the ice hockey team EHC Red Bull Munich and basketball club FC Bayern Basketball. We are looking forward to working with the SAP ecosystem, partners and solutions to provide SAP’s long-time customers Red Bull and FC Bayern the best fan experience possible in this connected stadium.
What’s next for Immersiv.io?
Roger: We’re working with our long-standing partners, the Bundesliga and Vodafone, to pursue the deployment of our in-stadium solutions in German stadiums. At the beginning of September, our solution also received an award by the Football Innovation Platform, a platform reuniting the UEFA Innovation Hub, Ajax and KNVB teams and the Johan Cruijff Arena, and we look forward to working with them soon.
Thank you for the interview.
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