— Photograph by Raymond Wong

Mixed reality does a great job of transforming banal spaces into something spectacular. Take, for example, this app that turns your living room into a spaceship, or this one that makes it look like your house is flying, Up-style.

But it’s not all spaceships and shooting games — XR can also transform practical spaces into something a lot more. Exhibit A: this mixed reality tennis app that turns a regular court into a portal for playing anyone in the world.

It’s serving XR

In this video, Reddit user u/CarrotSurvivorYT uses the Quest 3 and an app called First Person Tennis to play a friend that he says is “2,000 miles away.” If you’re confused about what that actually entails, watch the video below:

There’s a lot going on here. For one, this clearly breaks the traditional mold of XR that we’ve seen so far, which typically involves transforming a space like your living room into a zombie apocalypse or something of that nature.

Instead, with the help of First Person Tennis and a Quest 3 headset, a regular tennis court becomes an arena for online play. Why exactly would you use mixed reality on a real court you ask? Well, basically because you can.

Theoretically, you could set up this type of match anywhere, since First Person Tennis superimposes a court in front of you no matter where you are, but there is something special about having your XR environment actually be a tennis court. For one, you get all the trappings of playing a real game of tennis — the court, the net, the lines — but no collecting all the balls you sliced.

The biggest perk, however, is the fact you could play someone (granted they have a Quest 3 headset) anywhere in the world. Tennis courts are standardized, so there shouldn’t be any weird size differences in the playing area between players.

And sure, you might not get all the sensations of hitting a real ball or holding a racket, but there are at least haptics to fill in some of the gaps. Although, as some Reddit users have pointed out, this form of XR tennis does theoretically take up two whole tennis courts — one for each person playing. Needless to say, you might not be the most popular person at the club.

Promising future

I can’t say for certain what the experience of using this app in this way is like, but the fact that you can even have a semi-virtual tennis match with your friend who’s a world away is pretty exciting.

And if you’re okay irking everyone at your local tennis courts then the best part is you can start swatting away at the air today.

Share This