In a recent update to their regulations, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has approved LED glass flooring for top-level basketball competitions such as world championships or Olympic tournaments. Traditionally, such events have been played on wooden courts, but digitized playing surfaces manufactured by the German company ASB GlassFloor are an alternative with a wide range of advantages that cannot be neglected. The announcement made by FIBA follows ASB glass floors passing different tests regarding key attributes for athletes such as shock absorption, vertical ball behaviour, or sliding properties.
Glass floors display digital, not permanently marked court lines of different sports via LED and are already being used in various European arenas and training centres. For the operators of many of these venues, glass floors come with slightly higher initial investments but with significantly lower operating costs because there is no need for changing floors between different types of sports competitions. Importantly, they can also be used as media for video content such as ads.
Digitized glass floors could enable new ways for playfully interlocking sports, entertainment, and advertising. Even though in the top sports leagues attention will be paid to not disturbing athletes and not distracting spectators too much while competitions are ongoing, the in-stadium experience for fans could be upgraded. For broadcasters, this could mean that fully capturing the buzzing atmosphere of live sports becomes even more challenging and that a proactive deployment of hardware enabling immersive experiences is increasingly inevitable.
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