This Week In VR Sport: Zeality and San Jose Sharks Team Up To Produce VR Ice Hockey Experience

Just the one item this week for our regular trip into the meeting of virtual reality (VR) and sport. With the San Jose Sharks and Zeality Incorporated announcing that they are producing a new 360-degree video experience that allows ice hockey fans to be right in the middle of the action.

The two companies have taken advantage of Zeality’s new Immersive Media Engine to provide an experience that will allow fans to get familiar with what it is like to skate on to the ice at the SAP centre, they can also get a look at the locker room and how the team prepares for a game. It’s even possible for users to share their personal experience with others using Zeality’s Re/Lives feature.

“We are pleased to find in Zeality a partner that aligns with our core values and methodologies to undertake this unique opportunity,” stated Flavil Hampsten, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at the San Jose Sharks. “The mobile strategy of the Sharks is to provide fans with an app that not only delivers game-day functionality but also exclusive and innovative content. Zeality’s cutting-edge approach allows us to deliver an experience unlike any other in Sports.”

The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team In the National Hockey League (NHL) and current champions of the Western Conference. They made their debut in the NHL in 1991 and have won six division titles to date. In 2016 they celebrated the first time the team made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Zeality are a provider of immersive experiences that specialises in using cloud solutions to deliver to connected devices. They recently introduced the Immersive Media Engine, a 360-degree video platform that allows uploading, hosting, bitrate streaming and video transcoding to all be done from within a single interface.

“The Immersive Media arena is evolving into an ecosystem that fans around the world can experience,” stated Dipak M. Patel, co-founder and CEO at Zeality. “Our capabilities combined with the content and deep fan base of the Sharks presents a fantastic opportunity to boost the overall experience Sharks fans can get. We are thrilled to work with the San Jose Sharks to make the vision of Immersive Media a reality.”

The San Jose Sharks Experience is expected to be available in Spring 2017 through the Sharks mobile app.

VRFocus will bring you more news on how VR is changing the way sport is seen next week at the same time.