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Fans feel the live sporting action with Foxtel's connected shirt

PayTV network Foxtel has developed a proof of concept t-shirt so fans can feel the physical experiences of the players.“]

Data points created by all our connected devices and wearable technologies continue to explode; we’re never far away from the next brand experimenting with the most inventive way to use this technology, and hopefully, useful ways to channel this data.

Going beyond just data collection though, is the Alert Shirt, designed to give fans a more immersive experience of sporting events, in this instance, while watching live AFL games.

The shirt is fitted with a number of haptic feedback sensors, and according to ‘Foxtel’, the Australian PayTV network behind it, is designed to give off a number of ‘experiences’. While watching the game fans wearing the shirt will feel the impact when the player is tackled, the pressure of a fast-beating heart when the player is nervous, despair when an opportunity has been missed, and physical simulations of exhaustion and also adrenaline.

At this stage the shirt is just a prototype created by the TV network to capitalise on the experience of watching TV live. While viewers are asking for more personalised and real-life involvement and contact with the players, this still appears a gimmicky route to go down when you compare it to going and watching the game.

The Alert Shirt pulls all the physiological data from the players too, and pushes it through to fans who have the Foxtel app, giving insight. This data will have to also be presented in a relevant and accessible way to make this meaningful for people, details that the video above doesn’t go into. Even so, the Alert Shirt shows Foxtel is serious about using digital technology to enhance the TV experience for its fans. Whether we see this used in the real world remains to be seen.

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