Softbank announced a collaboration between Fukuoka PayPay Dome, home of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, and Metaverse on May 25th. In addition, we provided a “Virtual PayPay Dome” and AR experience service for visitors for 3 days from May 27th to 29th.
“Virtual PayPay Dome” is a service that builds a virtual space of PayPay Dome and allows users to move in the virtual space as an avatar. There are four spaces that can be moved: the entrance, the concourse, the field, and the player lockers, making it a space that looks just like the real thing.
The Virtual PayPay Dome can be accessed from a web browser. Users have created their own room, and up to 30 people can log in to the same room. Users logged in to the same room can talk with each other using the comment chat function, but the voice chat function is not installed.
In enhancement to moving the avatar, you could make motions such as leaping, dancing, and having fun with the trumpet with the click of a button, and you could also perform “Jet Balloon Release”, which is presently restricted because of Korona-ka.
Unfortunately, you cannot see the reproduction of the actual game on the field, but the ball thrown by the pitcher is reproduced and drawn a little later than the actual pitch.
There is also a function that allows you to experience the ball speed and muscles from the batter’s or catcher’s point of view using VR goggles.
Since it was still an experimental service, we have not reached the experience and function that can be called “watching baseball in Metaverse”, but you can see the actual game development using CG in the field, or at the concourse shop.
It made me feel that if users can shop and communicate with each other through voice chat, it will be a very enjoyable experience.
On the other hand, the AR experience was provided as a service that people who actually visited the PayPay dome can experience. One is a service for participants in the practice tour, where the speed of the hit ball is displayed in AR when the smartphone is held over the ground during batting practice.
In addition, the player introduction is also displayed in AR like a signboard in the stadium, and you can check the player’s profile and results by tapping it.
On the other hand, outside the stadium, by holding a smartphone over the same, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks’ official VTuber “Hawk Kannon Kai / Hina Aritaka” was displayed in AR, and a service was provided that allowed users to talk in real time.
As with the “Virtual PayPay Dome”, this can also be used by accessing from a web browser, so there is no need to install a dedicated application. You can easily access it by reading the QR code with the URL embedded.
“VPS (Visual Positioning System)” is used for the location information for AR display. It is a technology to grasp the current location information by recognizing the scenery with the camera of the smartphone.
With VPS, GPS is not required, and the amount of data used is “less than one image”. Even with the fact that no apps are required, this technology is perfect for easy use.
However, there are cases where the VPS backfires this time. May 27th, the day of the interview, was an open roof day at the PayPay Dome several times a year, with the ceiling half open.
Therefore, the condition of the light hitting was quite different from the state where the dome was closed, and it was difficult to recognize the position information on the VPS.
According to the people concerned, solving this problem is a future issue.
This time is just a demonstration experiment. At the press briefing held at the same time, Mr. Kengo Harada, General Manager of SoftBank Service Planning Division, said, “We would like to improve the quality and provide new AR services by the summer.”