With the Computer Entertainment Show (CES) now long done there’s been several stories here and there since Christmas that have involved sport in some small way. Some though you may not have even realised involved sport as is the case with one item in our weekly round-up.
Tottenham Takes Fans On A Trip To The New White Hart Lane
London-based football club Tottenham Hotspur have turned to virtual reality (VR) as an additional means of showcasing what the club’s £400 million redevelopment of its historic White Hart Lane ground will look like. According to the UK’s Daily Star, the club has created a 360 degree virtual walkthrough, available on Oculus Rift’s at the ground, for fans who want to get an idea of what the stadium will look like when work is complete.
The new stadium will all but double the current capacity of the ground to 61,000 which is also set to act as a concert venue and a new home for the NFL’s semi-regular London visits. You can see a preview video here.
WWE’s Stars Take On PlayStation VR In Latest UpUpDownDown Let’s Play Videos
It should not surprise you that even the most devoted athlete is also an avid gamer, and that’s no more truer than in the locker room of the WWE. In fact, if you did not know it, WWE superstar Xavier Woods is so passionate about the subject he hosts his own gaming YouTube channel UpUpDownDown in his spare time, which features many of the stars of the WWE as they relax and blow off steam between shows. That’s not to say they aren’t competitive – as anyone who has seen their annual Madden tournaments can attest to.
Their latest recording in the Monday Night RAW dressing room has focused on the PlayStation VR, with Woods inviting first superstars Cesaro to become a gangster in the PlayStation VR Worlds Collection‘s The London Heist and R-Truth to take on Danger Ball. The gameplay quickly draws the attention of other wrestlers, who whether heels or faces (bad guys or good guys, if you’re not up on wrestling’s vernacular) are keen to see what VR has to offer, some even relaying their own experiences. RAW superstar Sami Zayn even exclaiming that “This is the future!” Although Chris Jericho jokingly (we hope) doesn’t look too impressed. C’mon Chris, it’s the gift of VR! Drink it in maaaaan!
You can see how well both Cesaro and R-Truth did in the videos below.
The Vive Tracker Targets Sports Training
The announcement of the Vive Tracker at CES caught many by surprise. Announced alongside the Vive’s ‘Deluxe Audio Strap’ the future-proofed interface to VR accessories that will allow connectability and motion tracking of many objects had a number of active demonstrations for attendees to try. One of these included, as the press release puts it, “training applications for Major League Baseball players”.
VR’s use as not only as its widely acknowledged position as recreational platform but as a training and educational tool has long been touted by those in the industry. VRFocus has covered many stories of professional sports teams and players investing in the technology and it is interesting that this was specifically called out in the release.
The trailer for the tracker too also targeted sports, showing the tracker being suggested for use in tennis and golf. It will certainly be interesting to see who, if anyone, takes up the suggestion.
Cycle Training Gets Gamified With FitBit and VirZoom
It’s arguably a match made in technology heaven. The sort that makes you wonder why no one thought of it before. But VirZOOM, purveyor of online multiplayer VR sports experiences played via their eponymous bike accessory has teamed up with health and fitness wearable firm FitBit.
The partnership sees users gain credit for your virtual ride within the FitBit app, effectively bringing an additional level of gamified tracking to workouts. Speaking in a press release, FitBit confirmed how things would work.
VirZOOM offers an easy online setup so all of your VirZOOM vSports and VirZOOM VR bike play will automatically sync to your Fitbit account, giving you credit toward your goals. Each workout will be logged as an exercise in the Fitbit app and will include workout duration, distance pedaled and calories burned. If you wear a Fitbit device that tracks heart rate during your VirZOOM session, your Fitbit heart rate data will also be captured in your exercise log in the Fitbit app. By syncing your VirZOOM workouts with your Fitbit account, all of your data will be in one centralized location so you can view a more complete picture of your overall health and fitness.
Fitbit’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Tim Rosa commented on the partnership: “We embrace new partnerships with brands that share our goal of creating experiences that enable people to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle and we are always looking for fun, innovative ways to keep our community engaged and motivated on their health and fitness journey, Whether you enjoy racing through a virtual reality world as an F1 driver, or you are motivated to pedal your heart out with a group class in the comfort of your own home, the Works with Fitbit program makes it easy for users to enjoy, track and measure their health and fitness stats all in one spot.”
VRFocus will be back next week with more sport related stories.