Fans at Saturday’s WA Football League (WAFL) Grand Final at Perth’s Optus Stadium were able to transform themselves into a lifelike avatar as part of an innovative augmented reality feature.

In what Optus Stadium claimed was a first for Australia, fans were able to scan a QR code and upload a selfie of themselves to take part in the in-stadium experience.

Avatars were able to cheer on their team or wave in support at the game between Subiaco and South Fremantle, sharing the experience across social media platforms. Fans unable to attend were able to have a friend at Optus Stadium upload a photo so they could be at the game together virtually.

Branded content company Yahoo Creative Studios combined technologies such as WebXR, customer 3D avatar creation and animation to deliver the experience.

Ahead of the game, Melissa Hopkins, vice-president of marketing at telco Optus, the stadium’s naming-rights partner, said: “We love to create moments of magic and this activation at the Optus WAFL Grand Final is all about bringing fans together in a fun, interactive and unique way.

“It’s going to be fantastic to see people engaging with this technology, having a laugh with their mates over their avatar’s likeness and sharing the experience both on the big screen at Optus Stadium and through their own social channels.”

Hopkins said that Optus would look to integrate the avatar experience into the Optus Stadium Tour from late October. The inclusion of the Optus Avatar will be the second Optus experience on the tour, with the company having launched an interactive ‘Willy Wagtail’ 5G experience as part of the tour back in January.

Optus Stadium chief executive Mike McKenna added: “5G is transforming the way we connect, particularly with so many of our friends and families only being able to be seen through a device. Exciting partnerships like this one are a great way to bring people together and enhance the stadium experience, whether they be in person or via technology and innovation.”

Earlier this year, Optus completed its rollout of 5G technology at Optus Stadium as it looked to enhance connectivity at the 60,000-seat venue. The rollout covered the stadium and the pitch, with all corporate suites and seating areas to receive 5G connectivity courtesy of Optus.

Image: Optus