The NCAA College Basketball Tournament, colloquially known as March Madness, is arguably the most exciting postseason format in US sports, and the team behind Thyng want to take advantage of the annual event with AR content.
The Thyng app for ARKit-compatible iPhones and iPads now features video captures of mascots for eight teams, including the Michigan State University Spartans, University of Virginia Cavaliers, University of Florida Gators, Villanova University Wildcats, Duke University Blue Devils and others, that fans can place in their sports caves as they cheer on their teams. The app also includes 22 team logos as of this writing.
A company spokesperson told Next Reality that it plans to offer content for all 68 tournament teams. Where available, the development team intends to include school mascots, otherwise, they'll include other assets (such as logos) for some teams.
In addition, an update to the iOS app, scheduled for release next week, will support video recording and social media sharing (in the meantime, iPhone and iPad users can use the native screen recording function in iOS).
There's also an Android version of Thyng, but it only offers the marker-based AR experience at the moment and, thus, lacks the March Madness content.
However, the company is working on an ARCore update, which is in the later stages of development, and on schedule for release in the beginning of April, according to a company spokesperson. (Unfortunately, that will be too late for the vast majority of tournament teams, as the championship game is scheduled for April 2.)
Meanwhile, Virginia Cavalier fans, besides having the top-ranked team in the nation, also have a second option for their fandom, as UVA Clubs has sponsored an AR "Cav Man" via the AppAR8 app for iOS and Android. However, this experience requires a marker to trigger the content, with bigger markers resulting in larger-scale mascots.
In both cases, the AR content isn't the most sophisticated or realistic. But if your intent is to rub in a buzzer-beating win over your friend's team, or simply display school pride, then these apps do the trick.
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