World Cup attendees can use AR to see stats for players on the pitch

The FIFA+ app offers player heatmaps and VAR replays too.

Peter Cziborra / reuters

Folks who are attending the FIFA World Cup in Qatar don't have to miss out on all the player stats they'd see while watching games on TV. The FIFA+ app has an augmented reality feature that allows fans to view the likes of VAR replays and alternate camera angles.

FIFA says that only people who are attending matches in person can access the FIFA+ Stadium Experience. According to a video that has gained traction, users can point their phone's camera at the pitch. An overlay will pop up that enables them to tap on a player to see things like their movement speed and individual heatmap.

The VAR replays could come in handy for those who are in the stadium but aren't clear about why the referee made a certain decision. In the buildup to Japan's winning goal against Spain on Thursday, it appeared as though the ball went out of play (as shown in the image above). The referee initially disallowed the goal but overturned the decision after VAR showed a sliver of the ball remained in bounds. Having the option to see the VAR replay on their phone might have helped fans in attendance understand the call, especially if they missed it on the big screen.

The AR overlay looks neat and it could add to the experience of being at a game for some folks. On the other hand, it's the World Cup and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sometimes, it's okay to keep your phone away and be truly immersed in what's going on around you.