Digital advertising boards with constantly changing messages are now standard at major sporting events on the sidelines. Just like large video walls or cubes in which replays of exciting scenes or commercials are played. In the future, however, the floor could also become a huge projection surface for indoor sports.
The Upper Bavarian company ASB GlassFloor is exhibiting on a 230 square metre area in the Digitize area of ISPO Munich. Its innovative glass floor functions like an oversized, interactive video screen thanks to integrated LED technology.
"On the one hand you can improve the show for the audience and create a wow effect. On the other hand, the floor would become the number one advertising space, leaving any perimeter advertising standing in the rain. This could generate more money for sports that would otherwise be overshadowed by football," says Christof Babinsky. The managing director of the company has his sights set on indoor sports such as handball, basketball, volleyball or futsal.
And he brings the latest version of his floor to the ISPO Munich, which enables even more than the video functions. Further information about this can also be found in a presentation at the ISPO Academy Stage in Hall C6 5 February (Tuesday/from 12.45). In addition, ASB GlassFloor is Gold Winner of the ISPO Award 2019 in the Teamsport segment.
Three main application areas are demonstrated on the interactive playing field (Play, Train and Compete). Players can be tracked and special effects can be created. For example, the athlete who has just thrown a basket or shot a goal can be accompanied on the ground for 15 seconds by a virtual fire at his feet. There is also the possibility to display interesting live facts, for example from how many meters distance was thrown.
The floor also recommends useful assistance during training: It can, for example, display uncovered players or suggest pass variants. At ISPO Munich, for the first time players will play football in public with a digital ball in the real world.
Sounds pretty crazy at first, but the possibilities for the patented floor are enormous. Especially since the new, digitized floor is expected to have a life expectancy of 70 years and has already been officially approved by the world associations for basketball, handball and squash.
Since May 2017, the original version of the glass floor (ASB MultiSports) has been in the BallsportArena in Dresden and has proven its resilience at various sporting and gala events. "The two layers of safety glass connected by a foil give the floor a very good grip when playing. At the same time, it is much more elastic than wooden planks and therefore also good for the joints," says Babinsky.
"We believe that the clubs or organizers can double their income despite the rental costs," says Babinsky. Events with live TV coverage are already being planned in Germany for this year. Guidelines for the new advertising space do not yet exist, but the company is already discussing future regulations with sports associations.
ASB GlassFloor originally comes from the squash sector. In a first version, the field markings for the currently practised sport could first be faded in by LED lights in multifunctional sports halls.
How much more is now possible on the interactive playgrounds can be experienced live at ISPO Munich. By the way, the digital floor could also improve the shopping experience in shops. Brands such as Nike or designer Philipp Plein have already successfully tested this in several flagship stores and the product has also been relocated to the new Microsoft campus in Ireland, albeit in a slightly modified version.