Minnesota Twins claims first with pioneering AR venture

Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins is to debut a shared augmented reality (AR) platform that enables fans to see the same real-time 3D effects and play virtual games together on matchday at Target Field.

The ARound platform uses 3D spatial computing to localise content to individual users throughout the venue, enabling stadium-level attendees to participate in the same shared experiences. Using the ARound app, fans point their smartphone at the field to open up a range of multi-user AR games such as BatterUp, Blockbuster, and Fishing Frenzy – all designed to be played by interfacing with the physical ballpark and fellow fans in real time.

“We’re excited to introduce our fans to this never-before-seen technology as we continue to evolve and enhance the Target Field experience,” said Chris Iles, the Twins’ senior director of brand experience & innovation.

“Part multi-player video game, part augmented reality, with the ability for future expansion into an interactive next-gen stats platform, we believe what we’ve built with ARound will provide fans a next-level experience available only at Target Field.”

Fans can see and interact with real-time content led by action on the field, such as after homeruns, mascot races, or when the Twins take the field. During natural downtime, users can compete against their friends or fans in other sections to see who can knock down the most virtual blocks in the real-life outfield by throwing virtual baseballs or hot dogs at the structure.

“Current AR platforms isolate users in singular experiences. ARound believes massive, multi-user AR enables a host of creative opportunities to redefine what it means to be part of a connected fan experience,” said Josh Beatty, ARound’s founder and chief executive.

“Be it a player, a mascot, a brand, a play or even another fan, ARound captures people’s attentions and brings them closer to what’s right in front of them – during times they might otherwise be unengaged and on their phones – turning distraction to interaction and enhancing their overall experience.”

ARound was the winner of marketing group Stagwell’s annual ‘Shark Tank’ innovation competition which invests in new product ideas proposed by the network’s employees.