The Terrible Towel, a longtime symbol of Pittsburgh Steelers fandom that dates back to the 1970s, is being digitally augmented through a new AR feature being added to the Steelers official mobile app.
The rally towels originally date back to the Steelers run to victory in Super Bowl X. The “Terrible Towel Wall” is a display area located inside Heinz Field was added in 2012 and showcases the most memorable Terrible Towels from Steelers’ history. Using the new app, fans attending homes games or stadium tours can now point their smartphones towards the Terrible Towel Wall to view augmented reality-enabled videos and info galleries about the history of the iconic giveaway.
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“If you come to Heinz Field you are going to see something you can’t experience from your couch watching on TV,” said Nick Sero, corporate communications manager for Heinz Field, according to The Pittsburgh Business Times.
The app was developed by YinzCam, a mobile app and analytics developer based in Pittsburgh. Additional AR features in the app that can be activated at Heinz Field include selfie filters for special events like a fan’s birthday, anniversary, or first game. “The Steelers plan to continue developing their mobile app and its in-stadium uses, likely featuring additional AR technology in the near future,” a HeinzField.com press release stated.
“More and more teams are exploring the possibilities of augmented reality through their apps, whether to entertain and engage fans, or to provide them with unique utilities to enhance the game-day experience,” added Priya Narasimhan, CEO and founder of YinzCam, per The Pittsburgh Business Times.
YinzCam has built augmented reality-backed mobile apps for other professional sports teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kansas City Chiefs. The NBA bought equity in YinzCam back in 2015. While the Steelers are requiring fans to go to their home stadium to activate AR features, the Dallas Mavericks have taken a different approach by creating a mural of point guard Dennis Smith Jr. that comes to life for a virtual slam dunk behind a YMCA in downtown Dallas (developed by a collaboration with GrooveTech AR and the Spark AR Facebook platform).