On Friday, the Tokyo Olympics finally kicked off after massive delays and complications due to the pandemic.
Part of the opening ceremonies included an Intel-powered drone show that put a virtual globe in the sky, but this weekend a different kind of virtual object innovation will be in play at the games thanks to augmented reality.
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Japanese telecom giant NTT Docomo has launched a series of tech-powered innovations at the Olympics called the Tokyo 2020 5G Project. (In case you weren't aware, the organizers decided to keep the 2020 name despite the 2021 delay, making logistics planning a lot easier for all involved.)
One of the most impressive innovations uses the Microsoft HoloLens 2 to allow spectators to view AR information superimposed on competitors during the upcoming swimming competition.
Of course, access to the experience will be limited because the number of spectators at this year's Olympics has been significantly reduced due to Tokyo's state of emergency related to the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the organizers are allowing domestic spectators (at reduced capacity), special guests, other Olympic competitors, and international media to attend the events, so you should start seeing examples of the AR experience crop up on social media in the coming days and weeks.
In the meantime, we managed to find a brief demo of what the HoloLens 2 experience looks like through the device's lenses. The swimmers are tracked in real-time with statistics and data shown hovering above the competitors.
Overall, the experience appears to be fairly seamless in terms of real-time data visualization, something that will be tested during the events as NTT Docomo is also using the AR experience to promote its 5G service.
If you happen to be in Tokyo for the games or are just wondering when you might start seeing fans share their AR experience, the HoloLens 2 installation will kick off at this weekend's swimming competition on July 25, and also run on July 27, August 27, and August 29.
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