Capturing 360 degree video content can be a complex process, consisting of shooting from multiple cameras that record footage that must then be convincingly stitched together. With that mind in, one might assume that live streaming virtual reality (VR) content through a head-mounted display (HMD) is a long way off. Los Angeles-based cloud rendering company OTOY clearly disagrees, as it recently announced that it was working with the NHL to deliver live streamed hockey games. In fact, according to the company, VR live streaming is ‘definitely’ consumer-viable today.
OTOY Founder and CEO Jules Urbach recently said as much to VRFocus in an interview that will be published in full later this week. “Live-streamed VR is definitely consumer-viable today,” Urbach noted. “We’ve brought on a world-class team to get this to work now. Our team includes Immersive Media and New Deal Studios and we’ve improved the process not just for live 360 HD VR streams, but we’ve enabled this for 6K. To that end, we filmed the game between the [LA] Kings and [San Jose] Sharks at 6K and we’re testing how that can be streamed live, initially to the Gear VR.”
Last month saw OTOY preview its technology at the aforementioned LA Kings and San Jose Sharks game at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Viewers could watch practice sessions as well as the match itself, with a primary camera being placed above the glass are the arena, displaying a full view of the game. It was also possible to look towards goal posts to be transported just above the position and watch up close as teams scored. It was even possible to get a view from the top of the stadium.
OTOY has plans to use experimental light field cameras in the future for higher quality broadcasts.
VRFocus will continue to follow OTOY’s work in VR, reporting back with any further updates. Check back later in the week for the full interview with Urbach.