ESPN UK will today premiere a jaw-dropping virtual soccer analysis system named ESPN Arena during the Chelsea against Everton game (only on UK TV).
The augmented reality system will allow ESPN pundits such as Kevin Keegan and Craig Burley to analyze tactics, positioning and key moments in games on a tabletop device that has computer generated characters.
It sounds intriguing, but the best way to visualize how well the system looks is to watch the accompanying video. In the example below, you can see how the ESPN UK pundits focus on Juan Mata who seemingly comes to live on the screen in front of you.
ESPN Arena is based around a 65-inch touchscreen built into a table, and reportedly cost ESPN UK £150,000. The technology is developed by a company in London named RT Software, who have worked with Sky Sports, IMG and Setanta.
No word as of press time whether we’ll see anything like this on ESPN in the United States.
Also, here’s a video from RT Software which shows in great detail how their software works. The 3D stadium is particularly incredible: