Fans of the World Cup will be able to watch some of the 2018 FIFA games in augmented reality and virtual reality for free.
The soccer sports event that is being held in Russia this year will be transporting fans as close to the action as possible without being in Russia. With the use of Oculus Venues, supporters worldwide will be able to enjoy their favorite teams and players in augmented reality via Snapchat and Facebook.
On Snapchat for iOS and Android, a brand new lens has launched that allows fans to paint their face and head with their team’s colors. Additionally, on account of Snapchat’s experience, virtual soccer balls float behind the client.
“Our goal is to enhance the viewing experience of sports,” Konstantinos Rematas, one of the researchers from the University of Washington that is working on the project. “Instead of watching a soccer game or highlights on a flat 2D screen, we convert the original video into 3D and visualize it in augmented reality. Essentially the game becomes a hologram, where you can move around and look from different viewpoints, generating a more immersive experience.”
Facebook offers even more fun options where the apps will let you use AR effects. Just by tapping on the effect (which will be available in Facebook and Messenger) the users get an augmented reality sticker of players present at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Various face paint, headbands and wigs in their team colors can be chosen while digital bursts of fireworks go off above their heads.
Also, the Facebook Messenger app will provide World Cup-themed games and filters where users will be able to use them in chats. Soccer fans will see animated messages showing on their Facebook News Feed one day before the tournament that will invite Facebook Messenger’s Camera Effects Platform users to share their fandom with a profile frame of their favorite team.
**The 2018 World Cup champion will be crowned on July 15. The final match is set to start at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) on Sunday, July 15 from Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. It will be broadcast on Fox.