We developed the Future Box Seat β in a bid to address the disappointment that sports fans are experiencing, because they cannot attend live games due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By using this spectator seat, people can watch sports remotely, while at the same time enjoying events as if they actually were on location.
The robot allows fans to remotely:
- Support athletes with applause by clapping machine hands
- Move the camera on the robot’s head through 360 degrees
- Display their face on the monitor and speak with athletes
The idea is to offer users the same experience as would be enjoyed by someone attending a game. Through the robot, spectators can follow their favourite athletes with their own eyes.
Looking back on this robot development project, good teamwork and a sense of mission enabled us to deftly integrate technology, creativity, and production. Thus, while planning of the robot began only at the end of March, we were able to give a demonstration at a professional baseball game in July.
Given that society is experiencing a new normal state as a result of the pandemic, and that its values are changing from those of the past, it is important to align creativity that spawns future developments with both technology that realises concepts, and production that implements these measures in society.
I would be very happy if the Future Box Seat β were used to enable people around the world, and those who have difficulty moving, to watch games remotely. With an added function, up to 1,000 people simultaneously could share the same video. Thus, for example, one could watch - along with classmates from one’s school days - an alma mater sports team play a game. It is through creativity that I would like to devise ways of generating future possibilities.
- Above: credit // ©H.N.F
So far, we have used the robot at baseball games, figure skating and table tennis competitions, but we believe that it could also be used in the world of entertainment. We have received feedback from fans who took part in our demonstrations, and one participant noted: “I was very happy to see that many of the athletes appeared to be relaxed and enjoying the game.”
I now want to improve the functionality of the robot and make it the standard for remote attendance at sports functions. From that, for all core fans I would like to develop engagement media, which will follow on from our current media technologies.
- Akimichi Hibi, business developer, future creative centre, Dentsu Inc.