After winning the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, the US women's national football team is ready to defend their title in the 2019 tournament.
To take advantage of the excitement, USA Today has released a pair of augmented reality experiences that not only help readers learn more about the women's top female players, but also engage in a virtual shootout as a goalkeeper can try.
With the app USA Today If iOS or Android is installed, readers can try the experience by going to the "Meet the Team" and "Make the Save "button, which appears at the top of the app's screen in blue boxes on their AR-enabled mobile devices, or jump to the sports section of the app.
Sponsored by Fox Sports, the Meet the Team experience shows a virtual football field (or soccer field) in the user's camera view. Users can scroll through the list and select players to learn more about them through infographics and narratives. The World Cup score and schedule are also displayed in the user's physical area.
"We wanted to provide a comprehensive opportunity to learn more about the US women's team throughout the life cycle of this year's World Cup," said Ray Soto, director of emerging technology at USA Today in a statement. "We've seen how much AR users are aware of and maintain, so it's a matter of course for brands to participate in these immersive experiences, and it's really exciting to engage consumers throughout the championship experience."
The Make the Save experience, on the other hand, focuses on USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. After learning more about Naeher's record and attitudes about her position, you can take part in a simulated goalkeeper mini-game. Upon entering the position in front of a virtual goal, users are prompted to defend against a digital opponent's penalty, with difficulties ranging from 20 mph to 80 mph (professional level).