With the ink still drying from the recently announced PGA Tour partnership, Microsoft is quickly looking to leverage the full extent of opportunities teaming up with the PGA Tour can present for both the tech company and golfers in mass. Following today’s PGA Tour partnership, a report from Geekwire highlights Microsoft's work over the weekend to get its new augmented reality tool in the hands of Tour officials, sponsors, and golfers.
Thanks in part to a firm handpicked by Microsoft as its specialized HoloLens development group called Taqtile, users at the Players Championship tournament in Florida this past weekend were able to interact with 3D models of courses, holes, and golfing metrics using Microsoft’s newest headset.
A writer from Geekwire who had a chance to test out the same demo as users from the Players Championship describes the experience as such:
I strapped on the HoloLens device for my demo and soon had a bird’s-eye three-dimensional view of TPC Sawgrass — the course that hosts The Players Championship — which appeared on the physical wooden desk in front of me.
Using my fingers to interact with the content, I was able to compare player shot data from last year’s tournament, with colored lines showing individual shot patterns and an accompanying scoreboard to show me how players performed.
The demo was definitely cool. It was neat to interact with the course from above and see the hole-to-hole shot data for individual players — much more effective and engaging than looking at an Excel spreadsheet, for example.”
As for the demo’s more practical uses, Taqtile VP of product management Kelly Malone believes that HoloLens’ ability to overlay statistical and graphical information could help the sport. Malone uses examples of how HoloLens has the potential to enable Tour announcers to show multiple pivot and hole opportunities to viewers or give the tour real-time heat mapping of the course and golfer tendencies.
Beyond golf, Malone also believes there is a bright future for HoloLens in the world of sports in general.
This also enables shared experiences; multiple people can be looking at the same hologram at the same time. This can be really helpful for a player-coach conversation.”
On that same note, Malone and Taqtile are pivoting from mobile apps to focus part of their attention towards holographic, virtual, or augmented reality as a potentially growing interest of younger audiences. Perhaps seeing the same trend as Malone, Microsoft has also inked partnerships with other sports such as the NFL, NASCAR, and MLS.
Whether or not HoloLens catches mainstream attention or NFL coaches soon don HoloLens helmets on the sidelines instead of using their “iPad”/ Surface devices, it’ll be interesting to see how far Microsoft can take its vision.