International Association of Mixed Reality Sports launches to change sports participation and competition
The International Association of Mixed Reality Sports has been launched in a European event spanning Munich, Helsinki and Zurich that took place on 20 November.
Initiated in early October by the CEOs and founders of four pioneering companies in the rapidly growing mixed reality (XR) industry, the world’s first association of its kind is meant to support and grow XR sports.
With events, education and guidelines for the development and implementation of these new technologies, the International Association of Mixed Reality Sports is focused on raising public awareness for mixed reality sport and its benefits in the sports, education and health industry.
The founding companies – Fun with Balls, Icaros, Sphery, Valo Motion – are each grounded in XR. Each of these four companies also run their own competitive leagues using their technologies, but they are set to create a league combining all of their assets.
Stephan Niedecken, CFO and co-founder at Sphery, told SVG Europe: “We all have our own leagues already in place. However, at FIBO2021 we will have an official league start with 12 months of competition and qualifications, having battles in different countries and bringing in the country winners to the FIBO for the yearly finals. A new area of sports is born.”
At FIBO2021, competitive events will be live streamed and the association will also provide prize money.
On the founding member companies, the excitingly named Fun with Balls merges real sports and gaming in the physical world. With its first product, interactiveSquash, the Munich-based start up has transformed the classic sport of squash into an immersive gaming and training experience, enabling operators all around the globe to grow their audience and make smart squash courts more profitable.
Icaros revolutionises the way people exercise and play. Its products blend training, gaming and social competition to create exciting and effective exercise experiences for fitness clubs, hotels, and in orthopedic and neurologic therapy facilities. Its first consumer model, Icaros Home, was launched in 2018 in combination with Icarace, a global online multiplayer platform for virtual reality (VR) esports, connecting pilots around the world.
Meanwhile, Sphery unifies the best of the fitness and gaming world in one product, the ExerCube. With its XR game environments, it transforms physical training into a maximally motivating and effective body and brain workout. The combination of research-based functional training sets, customised game designs and a unique adaptation-algorithm enable any user to experience their individual flow.
Finally, Valo Motion creates groundbreaking active experiences that empower people to find the joy of movement. Its movement tracking technology turns sports equipment like climbing walls and trampolines into immersive digital experiences where players feel to be a part of the game. Pioneering products ValoClimb and ValoJump are full service sports attractions for daily active fun, but also a platform for events and challenging competitions.
The International Mixed Reality Sports association promotes physical activity by combining sports, technology and gaming. This combination enables enjoyable but challenging sports. The association brings together major product manufacturers, operators and sponsors globally to share knowledge, create standards, form and educate addressable interest groups, and shape the future of mixed reality sports and competitions.
Aiming to further fuel the growth of this new category at the intersection of technology and gaming, it is looking forward to welcoming new members, partners and sponsors that share the same passion for the future of sports. It stands for a new category in sports and includes physical activity in a combination of sports, digital technology and gaming. This combination makes it possible to generate new, exciting and challenging forms of sports and workouts as a cure for declining sport participation.
Chairman Markos Aristides Kern said: “As start ups in this exciting field, we have seen the immense potential of disruption. With the rapid increase in global demand, interest by big brands and governmental institutions, we see a big need of a neutral entity like an association to further fuel this development. Mixed reality sports is unknown terrain for many and we hope that this organisation will play a valuable part in communicating how these solutions present a cure to a big problem of our time; our increasing inactivity crisis. We all share the belief, that this is done best with joint forces since we’re just at the beginning of the biggest change in sports history.”
Meanwhile, Chairwoman Anna Lisa Martin-Niedecken, said: “Thanks to powerful new technologies, which allow us to design with and for the (moving) human body, and to create outstanding multi-dimensional experiences for various application fields such as fitness, (e)sports and rehabilitation, we start into a groundbreaking new era. With the International Association of Mixed Reality Sports, we want to make a sustainable contribution to building a bridge between analogue and digital sports, bringing people together in attractive body-centered worlds of experience and letting them write new stories.”