When the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers meet on Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to go head to head at this year’s Super Bowl, fans will be able to enrich their experience with augmented reality tidbits, courtesy of USA TODAY and junaio, an Augmented Reality browser. For smartphone users, the Friday, February 4th edition of USA TODAY will include a 360 degree tour of the Dallas Cowboys stadium, presented by Jerry Jones, stadium and Cowboys owner, along with interior and exterior highlights. The Monday, February 7th edition will give readers a 3D view of the “Play of the Game” in an animated sequence and an option to receive player stats. Pepsi and Papa John’s are sponsoring the two augmented reality experiences.
The new Cowboys Stadium, opened in May 2009, is the largest domed stadium in the world and a marvel of architecture and technology. How suiting of USA TODAY to employ the leading edge technology of Augmented Reality to allow the Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones to introduce his impressive sports palace to football fans nationwide. All that is required is to download the free app junaio from Apple’s iPhone App Store or the Android Market Place.
With the junaio channel “USATODAY 360 Stadium Tour”, the viewer finds himself right in the middle of the Cowboys Stadium enjoying a 360 degree view as he moves the camera around his own position. Clicking on the screen lets the user jump to where the players enter the stadium, down into the locker rooms or to view some of the famous murals of contemporary art decorating the interior of this fabulous stadium.
For people reading about the game in USA TODAY’s Monday February 7th edition, junaio’s image recognition technology brings to life the Super Bowl “Play of the Game” in the junaio channel “USATODAY SuperBowl Key Play”. This is presented not as a video, but as a 3D animation, created within hours of the game, whereby the viewer’s camera angle is determined by the smartphone’s position relative to the newspaper picture so that every player’s move can be studied from different angles.
“This cooperation between USA TODAY and junaio”, says Peter Meier, the developer of junaio, “is another great example of our vision of the ‘Augmented City’ and how augmented reality is able to bring additional value to everyday life. Just as junaio lets the viewer look inside the Cowboys Stadium, it can also assist buyers, looking for office space on the real estate market, to get a first glimpse of a vacant office by simply clicking on the building. And the second example of the 3D game play animation demonstrates how print editorials and even news can be augmented with digital displays, thereby enriching the reader’s experience.”