Tech Stack: NFTs, robot sweet shops and drone deliveries

Our weekly tech round-up from the stadium and arena sector…

Australian telco Telstra has teamed up with Google and Accenture to develop a new 5G-powered augmented reality wayfinding experience at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.

The experience superimposes digital information onto a real-world environment, with Google trekker devices used to develop a metric model of Marvel Stadium that represents the appearance and position of the physical 3D world.

GPS readings and environment scans were then matched with 360-degree images using the ARCore Geospatial API. Telstra is working with the AFL and Marvel Stadium to launch the experience ahead of next year’s Aussie rules season.

Roland-Garros, home of the French Open tennis grand slam, is launching a range of NFTs for this year’s tournament.

A collection of 5,000 NFTs will be launched, with each representing a numbered virtual seat of the Philippe-Chatrier court. The NFTs will provide access to tournament-related experiences and will be deployed by energy-efficient blockchain company Polygon.

Indian Premier League cricket team the Lucknow Super Giants has launched a metaverse experience in partnership with Gigabyte Technology and its gaming brand AORUS.

The experience has been pitched as a first of its kind for sport in India and is designed to enable fans to get closer to the team. The platform centres on a virtual recreation of a cricket stadium with a curved façade and spiral walkway at the front.

The stadium also includes exclusively designed panels where visitors can view player stats and try on their jerseys. Visitors will also be able to meet players in an exclusive meet-and-greet in the virtual world.

Telco AT&T has announced a collaboration with sports entertainment AR company Quintar to develop and deliver in-game AR experiences to fans in arenas and venues through the power of 5G.

AT&T is the official 5G wireless network sponsor for leading sports leagues and will work with Quintar to test and explore new applications and second-screen capabilities to deliver immersive and engaging experiences to fans at venues.

AT&T has more than 40 5G-connected venues, while Quintar recently partnered with golf’s PGA Tour and has built a first-of-its-kind platform called Q.reality to deliver accurate real-world AR content for metaverse experiences.

The St. Louis Blues NHL ice hockey franchise has teamed up with retail partner Rank + Rally, DBK Studio and Mantis XR to introduce Blues Experiential Reality (BXR), a new metaverse shopping experience.

According to the Blues, BXR is the first experience of its kind in sports and live entertainment across North America. The first phase of BXR has been launched to coincide with the Blues’ playoff run and includes an immersive metaverse experience that allows fans to go behind the scenes by visiting a 3D, photorealistic locker room.

BXR is accessible via the Blues website or by scanning QR codes on the concourse and in STL Authentics locations at Enterprise Center.

The NHL’s Washington Capitals debuted a roving robot to sell desserts to fans at Capital One Arena as part of a link-up with retail automation company Tortoise.

The mobile sweet shop was in operation during the Capitals’ playoff games earlier this week. Fans were able to purchase items from the robot by tapping their credit card or using Apple or Google Pay, with the machine providing instructions along the way.

The Miami Marlins Major League Baseball team has partnered with Magic City Apes to introduce a Bored Ape NFT art display at loanDepot Park on June 3.

Around 20 NFTs will be displayed on columns throughout the ballpark’s promenade level during the event, which will be the first of its kind for MLB.

NFL franchise the Baltimore Ravens has expanded a long-standing partnership with Advance Business Systems, which becomes the official IT solutions partner of the team.

Advance already served as the team’s official business solutions provider. As part of the new deal, it will gain exclusive suite-level naming rights at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens and Advance will also host specialised tech innovation meetings, which will teach best practices for leveraging technology to help local businesses.

M&T Bank Stadium has also agreed a deal with Power Up, a smart-charging technology company headquartered in Baltimore.

The partnership is designed to help Ravens fans and eventgoers keep their mobile devices fully charged, allowing them to access mobile ticketing and concessions. Power Up has provided 40 power banks in outdoor tent suites, 10 charging lockers, 16 high-top charging tables and a UVC 52 charging cart.

Purdue Athletics has trialled what it claims is the first drone-delivered food and beverage service at a sports and entertainment venue.

The pilot took place at Alexander Field, home of Purdue Baseball, during a recent home series. It involved a select fan base ordering food and beverages, with orders prepared at another on-campus athletics venue, delivered by drone, and placed in a pick-up locker for guests in an open-air space.

Pilot drones delivered hot dogs, bottles of water and crisps to prepare and pressure-test the delivery experience for higher fan volume at future events.