SBD/July 17, 2017/Technology

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  • Ravens' New Deal With Local Tech Startup Allows For Use Of Holographic Players

    Ravens coaches will be able to configure uniforms, stances and player movement

    The Ravens recently signed a one-year deal with Mixed River, a Maryland-based tech startup that "offers not virtual reality but 'mixed reality,'" which in this case means "holographic players," according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore SUN. Mixed River is currently "also pitching its product to other NFL and college teams." Mixed River "meticulously created images of the Ravens" as well as the Steelers, Bengals, Dolphins and other teams on the Ravens' '17 schedule. Rather than using practice or game film, Mixed River "provides simulations." Players wearing Microsoft HoloLens sets can "not only observe formations but move and respond to their holographic counterparts," such as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, on a "real-life practice field or gymnasium, at game speed." The effect is "akin to entering a life-size Madden video game." The Ravens have "already received equipment from the company that allows them to load their plays and watch simulated players run them on computer monitors, laptops or projected spaces." Coaches can "configure uniforms and numbers, stances and movements." The system "uses a game engine called Unity 3D, popular in video games." Ravens VP/Football Video Operations Jon Dube in a statement said coaches "can accurately visualize plays in the gym and teach players their assignments without having to step on the field." Barker notes in the coming months, Mixed River "hopes to offer the team the ability to also view plays through the HoloLens -- which cost $3,000 apiece." Mixed River co-Founder & Chief Experience Officer Carlson Bull said, "The real power is going to come when our teams can line up against holographic players in mixed reality" (Baltimore SUN, 7/17).

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