Amazon Web Services (AWS) partnered with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) last year to bring fans of the Toronto Maple Leaf, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Football Club and Toronto Argonauts extraordinary sports moments and an enhanced fan engagement experience.
Now, the two are building on that relationship with the release of SportsX, a new research and development program focused on creating “innovative digital solutions that achieve technological advancement in sports to enhance team performance and the fan experience.”
“We’re thrilled to announce SportsX, a new incubator in collaboration with AWS rooted in research, applied sciences and product development,” said Humza Teherany, the chief technology & digital officer at MLSE. “The program is an extension of our ongoing work with AWS and combines the expertise from both of our organizations with ideas shared by our passionate fans, to create a powerhouse in sports innovation.”
The research program — SportsX focuses on three key areas:
- Creating extraordinary fan experiences
- Giving teams a winning edge
- Creating positive social and environmental impact
According to the two companies, the program is designed with a “bottom-up” approach to capture, analyze and build out the best ideas from fans, partners, coaches and stakeholders. The captured ideas would then be evaluated for viability, and be developed and tested in the MLSE environment with a broader goal of “creating solutions that can benefit the sports industry at large.”
Some of the advancements via SportsX are already here. The SportsX team unveiled three AR/VR headsets at the Scotiabank Arena on Monday, January 23rd. Two of the three new headsets allowed fans to step into a virtually simulated basketball game, while the third headset provided users with an augmented viewing experience of the live Toronto Maple Leafs game that was live at that moment.
I was at MLSE Digital Labs and Amazon Web Services' launch of the SpaceX program. They unveiled how they're collecting data to provide new ways to watch sports with the use of AR and VR.
I used this headset for the Immersive Basketball Experience (1/3) pic.twitter.com/GjyG4dvsBP
— Bryan Meler (@BryanMeler) January 24, 2023
The first two headsets use optical data to simulate a basketball game, with players completing passes, dribbling and shooting, while the third headset allowed users to step into a live game play-to-play.
With the technology, SportsX can put any Basketball game data to the surface or court in your home, allowing you to relive key games and moments, like Kawhi Leonard’s last-second game-winner against the 76ers, or Kobe not flinching when Matt Barnes fake passed the ball to his face. “It’s a glimpse into the future,” said Teherany.
Learn more about the new technology here.
Image credit: Amazon Web Services