With the Easter weekend in full swing it is time to say goodbye to March as April is almost here so to see the month off VRFocus is here to bring you another edition of This Week in VR Sport. With a number of sports related virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stories, this week has a number of topics that you are sure to find interesting. From boxers fighting themselves in VR to tabletop soccer getting the VR treatment, this week is packed with plenty to discover.
Anthony Joshua Fights Himself In VR
Ahead of the fight between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker in a world heavyweight fight in Cardiff, Sky Sports have shown off Anthony Joshua fighting himself thanks to VR. Thanks to 360 volumetric capturing Anthony Joshua has been fully recreated in the digital world and motion capture technology has allowed for users to put on a headset and go up against the fighter. Of course, that also meant that Anthony Joshua himself had to have a go. By using a green screen and a camera, viewers that then see what the user sees on a larger screen offering an insight into the fight of the year as Anthony Joshua goes up against Anthony Joshua.
Sky Sports VR has been continuing to develop new VR solutions as a way to engage their audience and bring the sports they love closer to them. Back in 2016 the company released a dedicated Sky VR app which gives uses access to immersive, 360-degree videos and VR experiences right in the palm of their hand. For now, those who want to go up against Anthony Joshua will have to wait a bit longer for the product to (hopefully) be made available for home use. Elsewhere, Sky Sports Box Office will exclusively show the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker unification fight on 31st March with repeats running on 1st April. Tickets for the fight are able from the Sky Box Office website here.
Gatorade Using ‘Beat The Blitz’ VR Title To Educate About Dehydration
The Gatorade Company, one of America’s leading manufacturer of sport-themed beverage and food products, is taking to VR to help tackle the issue of dehydration in sports players. Using the Gatorade brand and a new VR videogame title called ‘Beat The Blitz’ the company is hoping to tackle and educate players on this issue. The title challenges players to throw footballs at targets, avoiding would-be tacklers and even score the odd trick shot now and again. All of this is delivered by former NFL All-Pro and Super Bowl champion, Peyton Manning. Thanks to the real-time tracking that is delivered by the VR solution players get to experience an authentic simulation of throwing a football.
On a more education side of things, ‘Beat The Blitz’ also includes a number of simulations that take the user inside the human body as show what happens to an athlete once dehydration sets in. This is shown in the title by having a players vision become impaired along with other symptoms of dehydration manifested through VR. Designed for HTC Vive and Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets, ‘Beat The Blitz’ debuted at South by South West (SXSW) and the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and is now available on Steam. You can see it in action for yourself below.
Koliseum Soccer VR Brings Tabletop Soccer Into A New Reality
If you enjoy playing tabletop soccer with your friends then you will be happy to her that Switzerland based developer Kynoa is working on a VR tabletop soccer experience. The fully-integrated solution is designed for an out of home VR experience that mixed the nostalgia of the arcade with the thrill of the latest technology. The spectacular VR competitive tabletop arcade title puts players up against each other in the usual tabletop soccer way only this time it is brought to life thanks to the head-mounted displays (HMDs) that each player is wearing, opening a window into a futuristic game of soccer where robots rule the pitch.
Players will still make use of the traditional arcade design by pulling the controls that most will be familiar with as they try to score against their opponent. Pull and push the bar to position your players and snip it to block, shoot and hopefully score. Kynoa hope to see Koliseum Soccer VR installed in out-of-home locations such as entertainment venues, shopping mails, cruise ships and more with the goal of bringing the arcade into a new era. You can check out a video of Koliseum Soccer VR in action below.