Trojans fans celebrate Sun Belt Championships with VR experience

The Emerging Analytics Center created virtual representations of senior guards Marcus Johnson Jr. and Sharde' Collins.

Fans of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans can enhance their Sun Belt Conference Tournament experience with the Emerging Analytics Center’s update to the “UALR TrojansAR” app.

This week, Emerging Analytics Center members will promote the Trojans men’s and women’s basketball teams as they compete in the Sun Belt Tournaments at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans.

“We are using our experience with virtual reality and augmented reality to get up close and personal with some of our favorite Trojan players,” said Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, director of the Emerging Analytics Center.

“Being a Trojan fan has personal meaning to loyal supporters,” Cruz-Neira said. “Many fans would love the opportunity to take pictures with the players. So we have a virtual means to give the fans what they want; a photo with a virtual reconstructed image of one of the women’s and one of the men’s team players.”

With the fan experience app, fans can take pictures with virtual representations of senior guards Marcus Johnson Jr. and Sharde’ Collins, who was recently announced as the Sun Belt Player of the Year.

The app also includes an engaging basketball perimeter shooting experience. When users succeed in making the virtual basket, they are rewarded with a computer animation of Josh Hagins’ game winning shot against Purdue during the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

The “UALR TrojansAR” app is free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The Trojans women earned the conference’s regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. After winning the first game 69-53 against Appalachian State, the team will play in the tournament semifinals at 5 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3.

In the upper right photo, the Emerging Analytics Center created virtual representations of senior guards Marcus Johnson Jr. and Sharde’ Collins for the fan experience app. 

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