We are witnessing more and more instances of live sporting events getting married with virtual reality. For instance, NextVR has already partnered with Fox Sports in making a soccer game, a title bout, a college basketball league, the US Open golf tournament, and the Daytona 500 available for viewing on VR. To NextVR’s credit, it has not stopped there -- it has also teamed up with the NBA League Pass in showing one contest from the 2016-2017 season every week in VR. On top of all that, NextVR also turned its attention to the National Football League by starting to bring post game highlights of selected matches in VR.
This time around, VOKE VR, a rival of NextVR, has decided to join in on the fun, too. Indeed, VOKE VR is not only providing post game highlights but also in game highlights, too, in VR on Samsung smartphones. The games that will be featured by VOKE VR will be matches happening this month and in January of next year. Those looking forward to the match up between the New Orleans Saints versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this coming December 11th, the Jacksonville Jaguars versus the Houston Texans on December 18th, and the Dallas Cowboys versus the Philadelphia Eagles on January 1st, will be able to enjoy game highlights of any of these contests in VR.
Game highlights delivered in VR are cool and all, but it does get people wondering how long will they have to wait for actual games to be broadcasted live in VR. Obviously, this is easier said than done. However, there is some progress -- both NextVR and VOKE VR (which is backed by chip maker Intel) are exploring various ways of handling and delivering the whole NFL experience, including looking into which camera angles and positions to take full advantage of in order to bring a truly mind blowing VR experience. This is far from being simple, of course, and so much depends on the willingness of Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, to allow VR cams in or near football fields.
VOKE VR’s partnership with the NFL is happening about a month after it was acquired by tech giant Intel. As explained by William Deng, the director of media strategy and business development at the NFL, the collaboration wit VOKE VR gives the league yet another opportunity to continue exploring ways in which VR can be melded with live sporting events. With the use of its TrueVR platform, VOKE VR had already teamed up with Turner Sports and Occulus in delivering NCAA games via Samsung’s Gear VR and game highlights through Facebook 360.
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