This Week in VR Sports: NFL Uses VR For Referees, MANDT VR Joins Forces with the Pittsburgh Steelers & NextVR Arrives on Daydream

VRFocus recaps the latest VR events in sports.

While the majority of this weeks news has come from CES 2017 in Las Vegas, with plenty of virtual reality (VR) announcements, there’s been very little dedicated to sports. But that doesn’t mean nothings been going on and VRFocus brings the first weekly round up for the new year. This week the NFL has confirmed that referees will use VR for training, MANDT VR joins forces with the Pittsburgh Steelers and NextVR expands its app support to Google Daydream.

NFL Testing VR Simulators For Training Referees

The National Football League (NFL) has been one of the earliest sporting organizations to adopt VR technology. Whether its been for training players or for getting fans closer to the action, VR’s being used in many facets of the sport, and now officials are utilising the tech as well.

Talking to Sport Techie an NFL spokesman commented: “We will be testing new technology for training officials, including virtual reality simulators and POV cameras.”

“VR isn’t just for fan entertainment. Football teams have begun using VR to improve player performance by simulating practice and game situations. The league itself is in the early phases of developing VR training materials for referees,” says NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle to BizTech Magazine.

NFL Virtual Reality Experience image

MANDT VR Joins Forces With The Pittsburgh Steelers To Deliver Game Day Experiences To Steelers Fans Through Immersive 360-Degree Virtual Reality Video

A collaboration between the Pittsburgh Steelers and leading VR production studio MANDT VR will allow Steelers fans across the globe to experience game day action at Heinz Field like never before.

Through 360-degree VR videos, viewers will see stories and traditions that provide an all-access pass to game day experiences in the NFL.

“For many sports enthusiasts, myself included, watching a game on television pales in comparison to experiencing it in person – absorbing the energy and atmosphere of a stadium full of fans,” said Neil Mandt, founder and CEO of MANDT VR. “We’re thrilled to work with the Steelers to deliver a virtual experience that immerses viewers in the action, no matter where they are.”

“We are always looking for new ways to engage with our fans,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Allowing Steelers fans to experience game day at Heinz Field through virtual reality is something we are excited about.”

MANDT VR videos can be found across various apps and platforms including Littlstar, YouTube, and Facebook.


NextVR Now Available on Google Daydream

And just in case you missed it, NextVR one of the most prolific virtual reality (VR) producers of sporting content revealed it had expanded support for its app. NextVR’s app, was up until this week, only available for Samsung Gear VR, but now Google Daydream owners also get to view the company’s varied array of immersive events, such as NBA games, ICC soccer matches, the Kentucky Derby, the US Open, the Daytona 500 and concerts from the band Coldplay.

Daydream View Headset

Check back with VRFocus at the same time next Saturday for another sporting roundup.

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