Foxtel employs wearable technology to give AFL fans a more sensory experience

Foxtel and creative agency CHE Proximity announce a new 'alert shirt' which enables fans of Australian Rules Football the ability to feel what players feel physically in real-time

Foxtel's Fox Footy channel has launched a new marketing campaign using wearable technology to give AFL fans a more sensory experience of the game.

The new ‘alert shirt’ is a wearable technology featuring electronic sensors that give Australian Rules Football fans the chance to experience what players are experiencing physically during a match.

Real-time game data is transmitted via a mobile Bluetooth app to the electronics located in the shirt, which converts the information into sensations that simulate the live sporting contest. This includes tackles, scoring a goal, and the nerves a player feels before kicking a goal.

The campaign was created by Foxtel’s creative agency, CHE Proximity, using technology from wearable experts, We:Ex. The two companies also worked with AFL captains, Scott Pendlebury of Colingwood, Luke Hodge of Hawthorn and Trent Cotchin of Richmond, to get a deeper understanding of how the body feels during key moments of the game.

Data being used for the shirts, such as score and tackle data, was already being used to provide real-time information and updates through apps, technical director, Ben Moir, said in a promotional video to launch the campaign. The videos also include Pendlebury, Hodge and Cotchin explaining their physical reaction to a professional game and demonstrating some of the behind-the-scenes R&D.

The key to the new shirts is the combination of CPU and Bluetooth chip to relay the information as a sensory experience, he said.

The shirts can be used during live games broadcast on Fox Footy on Foxtel and will be available to AFL club members who purchase Foxtel, along with loyal Foxtel fans. The app required for the shirts is available on iOS and Android platforms.

“We know AFL fans are among the most dedicated sports fans in the world, and at Foxtel we’re always looking for ways our subscribers can connect with the game and their favourite team,” Foxtel executive director of sales and marketing, Ed Smith, said.

“The alert shirt is the first of its kind in the world and we’re proud to offer this ground-breaking technology to AFL and Fox Footy supporters.”

Up until now, fans have only been able to connect with their team on an emotional level, added CHE Proximity executive creative director, Leon Wilson. “Now they can physically feel every impact, rush of adrenalin, or anxious heartbeat.”

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