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Warriors, Helios Interactive create augmented reality experience for new arena

Golden State Warriors bring augmented reality technology to new Chase Center arena. 

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Once again, the Golden State Warriors have proven that their forward-thinking attitude is not limited to the basketball court. In January, the team once again called upon cutting-edge experience design studio Helios Interactive. Helios has become well known for successfully using emerging technologies to create interactive experiences in the events and retail space.

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Helios’ previous work for the Warriors involved green-screen enabled photo opps with players for fans attending the 2015 and 2016 NBA Finals. This time, Helios was tasked with creating an experience for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Warriors’ new arena in San Francisco—the Chase Center.

Kenny Lauer, VP of Marketing & Digital for the Warriors, explained, “We wanted to look for a way to bring this new arena and district to life, so it made sense since we’re going to be on the property, to use this technology called augmented reality to actually have the arena come to life right in front of you.”

Using a Microsoft HoloLens headset and a specially built tent, Helios was able to add digital recreations of the stadium into the real world. First, users of the headset were able to interact with a miniaturized 3D model of the Chase Center that rose from the floor of the tent. Guests could explore different areas of the arena in real-time by walking around the projection and watching a variety of call outs and renderings.

Once guests had become familiarized with the HoloLens and the smaller version of the stadium, they were then able to experience the highlight of the day. By walking over to the tinted window of the tent, they could look out and see a life size model of the future stadium in the exact spot where it will soon be constructed.

“We worked with event planners and got ourselves a story-high platform built looking over the site,” Helios CCO Jon Fox said. “This allowed us to place the stadium at scale beyond this wall and the window out there, so you could actually go up to the window and see the stadium six stories high looking out over the vacant lot.”

According to Helios Interactive, the reception was overwhelmingly positive, as many enjoyed the experience for minutes at a time. As successful as this engagement was, Fox believes the technology will only get better. “We’re scratching the surface. I think five years down the road it’s going to be night and day from what we’re seeing today.”