Get ready for augmented reality in MLB Network broadcasts

Piero’s 3D visualizations are a fresh alternative to basic two-dimensional graphics traditionally found in baseball broadcasts.
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MLB Network and Swedish technology company Ericsson have announced a multiyear agreement that will bring Ericsson’s Piero augmented reality software to the television network’s programming.

Piero will allow MLB Network to pair statistical analysis with three-dimensional graphics in real-time. The utilization of 3D graphics alongside advanced statistics gives viewers a fighting chance to keep up with new trends emerging in America’s metrics-driven pastime.

In 2014, MLB Network debuted “Statcast,” a state-of-the-art tracking system that uses high-resolution cameras and radar systems to record the exact speeds and movement patterns of the baseball and the players on the field. With Ericsson’s Piero software, MLB Network will be able to pair metrics tracked by Statcast with informative 3D graphics.

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“MLB Network has selected Ericsson to help take the viewing experience of America’s national pastime to the next level,” Thorsten Sauer, Ericsson’s Head of broadcast and media services, said in a statement. “Our software will enhance its sports programming and provide an effective way for MLB Network to drive audience retention and further increase engagement with their fans.”

Piero’s 3D visualizations represent a fresh alternative to basic two-dimensional graphics that have traditionally been paired with analytics in baseball broadcasts. From the convenience of a phone or tablet, an analyst might draw a heat map or incorporate a 3D fly-around into their broadcast, all in real time.

“Piero Augmented Reality allows broadcasters to go beyond rudimentary, pre-built 2D graphics and bring events to life through data-driven stories for even more compelling viewing, and create deeper engagement through stunning artistry,” Sauer said.

In a time when fans across the globe are more connected to their favorite teams than ever via smartphones and tablets, introducing advanced 3D infographics may provide a jolt to the average viewer.  Ericsson’s Piero software is already utilized by more than 50 broadcasters around the world and will soon transform the way baseball fans understand the science behind their favorite teams.