The future of football game preparation is being developed right here in Maryland using the Microsoft HoloLens. Towson technology company Mixed River has designed software specifically meant for game prep.
“In our particular case we’re projecting holographic images from this device into this space, where it recognizes the surface and the walls and things like that in front of you, and it’s football players,” said Mixed River CEO Jim Pietila while holding the HoloLens at Route 1 Athletics in Elkridge. “This is a holographic device that allows you to project holographic, 3-D images anywhere you want.”
What Mixed River has designed is mixed reality. As opposed to virtual reality, mixed reality lets you to blend your surroundings with what comes up in the lens. It's perfect for players to use on a field or at home.
“Although this is a nice space, you could literally do it in your dining room,” said Pietila. “You could do it almost anywhere. As long as you have the ability to move around.”
It’s ideal for big time football programs. Teams can input their opponents’ plays into the software in preparation for their next game. Baltimore native and Notre Dame senior center Sam Mustipher tried it out for the first time on Friday.
“Wow. Oh Wow. That’s nice,” said Mustipher as he tried on the lens. “When you watch film you can look up and point out the defenses and stuff like that. But, this is actually being out there with the defense without actually being out there.”
“Knowing what the device can do, we said ‘Hey let’s put together this idea and see if a team will adapt it,’ added Pietila.
And one has. The Ravens recently signed on to use Mixed River’s software.
“We look for every possible way to teach our guys. We’re chasing it like everybody else is in our league. We just want to teach our guys,” said Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh.
Right now the Ravens are using more projection based software, but in the near future could experience what Mustipher experienced. Mixed River said there’s been interest from several other pro and college teams as well.
As far as what’s on the horizon for mixed reality, Pietila is hoping to develop new technology within the next few months that allows multiple players on the same team to wear the HoloLens at the same time so that they can share the same holographic experience.