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MLB At Bat to get Apple ARKit enhancements for 2018 season

Major League Baseball is in the middle of testing ARKit features for its At Bat iOS app, which will offer people live statistics as they watch a game from the stands.




Users will be able to tap on a player's image and get data from Statcast, a system the MLB users to track players by way of cameras, Doppler radar, and machine learning, CNET said. This includes figures like how hard a batter hits, and how quickly they can run a base.

The technology is currently in an internal prototype stage, but should be ready next year. MLB recently invited a select group of reporters to a San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies game, where the prototype was shown running on iPad Pros.

The app's developers are trying to "create the right information at the right time," according to MLB Advanced Media executive Chad Evans, striking a balance between in-depth content for diehard fans and keeping it simple for regular crowds.

Apple marketing head Phil Schiller briefly showcased the enhanced At Bat during Sept. 12's iPhone event, but said little beyond some of its promised features.

Both the iPhone 8 and the upcoming iPhone X are tuned for augmented reality. ARKit, however, will run on any device with iOS 11 and an Apple A9 processor or better, dating back to 2015's iPhone 6s.

The company is believed to be secretly working on dedicated AR glasses, which might make an app like At Bat more convenient and enable new experiences as well.