06 Sep Virtual Reality Technology Innovating the Sporting World Today
Sports teams and companies are using the latest VR technology to strive for digital innovation.
Technological advances are always being made within the sporting world, from sweat-absorbing playing kits to goal-line technology. All sports seem to be jumping on the technology to help themselves stay afloat in the technological ocean. Virtual Reality is one of the latest ways technology has come into direct contact with sport. Of late virtual reality headsets have become the latest craze in the technological world, and now it’s making its transfer across to the sporting world.
In June 2016, Getty Images released news that they were investing heavily into VR for the 2016 Olympics in Rio setting the trend for other companies to push forward with VR. BBC launched an experimental sports app that enabled anyone with a VR headset to download the app, and allowed viewers for a 360-degree view, whilst watching the live event.
The trend has spread to Baseball too; Texas Rangers have teamed up with tech company, Lowes to give members of the public the ability to walk down the tunnel and view the stadium from some of their favourite players’ perspective, taking in the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the Globe Life Park stadium.
LA Galaxy have also jumped on the VR bandwagon and have launched plans to create a six-part virtual reality series. The series enables fans not only to get unique views behind the scenes of the of the stadium, but also to Steven Gerrard’s house, and also where players like Robbie Keane like to hang out in and around Los Angeles; a truly unique experience. And if you’ve ever fancied jumping out of a plane, but weren’t convinced by life-threatening part then iFLY have the answer for you. iFLY have created a VR where you can skydive without going above sea-level
Manchester City have also been at the forefront of the VR world, being the first team to install a 360-degree camera in the players’ tunnel, allowing members of the public to gain an insight never seen before from fans, as well as 360-degree views being shown of training sessions to allow fans to get a view of what happens behind the scenes. Manchester City also has ambitions to incorporate VR into their match days and stream live matches using 360-degree cameras, allowing for fans to feel as if they are in the stadium. Manchester City is the only Premier League team to start using VR; in January 2016, Liverpool showed their innovative side, when releasing a 360-degree video of Liverpool fans at Anfield singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before playing Arsenal.
Fox Sports recently announced they have linked up with NextVR and broadcast the Bayern Munich opening game of the Bundesliga, as well as Sky unveiling that their VR app will be released later this summer, it’s opened up a world of opportunities. More and more teams are looking into the world of Virtual Reality technology to find their feet in the tech world, and no doubt more teams and sports from across the sporting spectrum will jump on the trend and allow members of the public to immerse themselves in the sport.