If you're gearing up (heh) to watch the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on Fox Sports this weekend, don't forget your coasters.
Fox Sports has launched Fox Vision, a new augmented reality app to go alongside its broadcast of the iconic Australian race, the Bathurst 1000. And it uses special coasters to bring up a 3D version of the track in the app. I mean, you don't need the coaster, but it's way more fun if you do.
It's the first foray into augmented reality for Fox Sports, who have used the Fox Vision name to flag what they hope to be a fundamental name in sports entertainment, going deeper in supercar coverage and expanding to other sports in 2017.
This weekend, in something of a trial run, Fox Vision offers a live, 3D version of the world-famous Mount Panorama Circuit, and it'll be updated in real time with the positions of the top 10 cars during the race. On top of the coaster-supported AR, it'll also offer you the usual race centre stats, track data and cockpit telemetry, a driving game and some excellent 360-degree footage from the cars as they tear around the track. That last thing is something you'll want to keep an eye on -- the suction cups on the cameras are rated to withstand speeds of 240 km/h, but drivers will be hitting over 300 km/h during the race.
The app is all about pushing out those stories that you might miss in the traditional broadcast. "You might see the battle between second and third place on the screen," said Chris Gross, Fox Sports' Head of Marketing & Social. "But down the track, there could be something just as good for seventh and eight. Because we're a linear channel, we couldn't tell those other stories -- with the app, we can."
While it's being launched in a trial run for Bathurst this weekend, there's the potential for Fox Vision to become a dedicated companion app across other sports broadcasts. Gross said Fox Sports was eager to target the tech-savvy sports fan, and in future the app could be built out across other major sports. The challenge, he said, is in not making it cookie cutter, but tailoring it by looking for the opportunities AR offers for each sport.
The free app is available now on iOS and Android if you want to try it out alongside the Great Race this weekend.