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Chris Kluwe thinks technology like Google Glass and Oculus Rift will completely change the way people play – and consume – football. And he's more than happy to tell you about it.
The former Vikings punter took over a TED Talk stage back in March (the video of which was made available this week) to talk about how he sees technology and augmented reality affecting the game he used to play. First, he think fans will one day be able to experience what it's like to be an NFL quarterback, thanks to improving virtual reality. You can get a small taste of what he means with this Yale football video, shot with Google Glass.
Combine that with 3-D virtual reality technology, and fans could soon get a full-field view.
But Kluwe takes it a step further, suggesting technology could works its way into the game itself – providing an augmented reality. He sets it up by talking about how wristbands with plays were added at one point, changing the game; then the league added radios in helmets, once again improving things.
So in 2023 Kluwe says, why not a visor – just like the ones many players wear now – that can display plays and assignments, so players don't have to memorize a playbook? Going past that, maybe the visors could work on conjunction with cameras placed high above (like the SportVU cameras the NBA uses) to provide players real-time information. A quarterback could be notified when a blindside rusher is closing in, for example, and he could then adjust accordingly.
And if the technology is that powerful, Kluwe adds, it could be used for even bigger social purposes as well; literally showing what it's like to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.
Would the NFL be on board? Kluwe suggests making money is always the top priority, and if this technology improves the fan experience, sucking in more dollars ... it's not inconceivable.