Microsoft HoloLens promises to bring game closer to fans

SAN FRANCISCO -- Imagine Calvin Johnson or Cam Newton standing in your living room. That soon could become a reality as the National Football League and Microsoft work together to bring the game closer to viewers with Microsoft HoloLens, a holographic computer that brings high-definition holograms to viewers at home.

"When you put these headsets on, you are really self-contained in this environment," NFL Executive VP Brian Rolapp said Tuesday during a Super Bowl 50 news conference. "What they're working on, and what I find so exciting and what you saw in those clips, is you still are in the room that you're in."

When wearing a headset, a viewer get a full gameday experience as holograms of the stadium along with live fantasy football stats and life-size players overtake the room. Mike Nichols, corporate VP of marketing and chief marketing officer for Xbox at Microsoft, added the product will allow users to see replays from all angles of the field and a player's point of view.

"It really puts it into perspective when one of those guys is standing next to you in your living room and it's Calvin Johnson.," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "Or 'Oh my gosh, it's Cam Newton. I didn't know they grew quarterbacks that big.'"

Four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana, who was part of Tuesday's panel, said technology in the game has evolved leaps and bounds since his playing days more than 20 years ago.

"In New Orleans when we played there, they would send the photos down. They had these big metal clips and a wire at the top, so they'd take a picture, put it on there and slide it down to our bench," Montana said. "Things have changed a lot with as fast as they get stuff on the sidelines and the different views, and the things that you can see are a lot better, especially, I would imagine, for the quarterback."

The possibilities seem endless as we head into the next 50 years of the NFL, and this is just a glimpse into the future.

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