This Week In VR Sport: It’s All About The Virtual Space

Once again it is time for VRFocus to bring you another entry of This Week In VR Sport. With a number of sports related virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stories, this week has sports ranging from the launch of a VR Sports arcade in Dubai, Microsoft filed a patent for an arm-worn accessory and even a 13,000 feet free fall all within VR.

Dubai Sports Council Chief Hails Launch of VR Arcade

VR Sports Arcade

The head of the Dubai Sports Council has hailed the launch of the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE’s) first VR arcade, adding that VR is set to “change the sports scene forever”. The new VR Sports arcade is located in the VR Theme Park in Dubai Mall, and has been officially launched by international digital agency ARKub Interactive, in the presence of Saeed Hareb, secretary-general of the Dubai Sports Council.

The VR Sports arcade is home to over 20 different VR titles that are sure to give any sports fans or active families a fun and immersive way to play. This includes the chance to play basketball, football, skiing, golf and even cricket all within the VR Sports arcade. News agency WAM reported that Hareb said: “VR will change the sports scene forever. It will help in making workouts more effective and athletes will not even have to step out of their homes to train. VR Sports is a great new addition to Dubai’s sports scene, not just for virtual reality enthusiasts, but also sports professionals who are looking to improve their game. We at Dubai Sports Council are looking forward to working with VR Sports in our efforts to further enhance the sporting landscape of Dubai and add exciting new technological advances like VR.”

Though VR theme parks and arcades continue to be established around the world, including the Oriental Science Fiction Valley in China, the opening of the VR Sports arcade in Dubai Mall is key milestone for the Dubai Sports Council and ARKub Interactive. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on any developments on the VR Sports arcade.

Microsoft Patent Points Towards More Realistic Basketball

Microsoft Clutch Patent

Microsoft have put a patent forward for an AR and VR accessory that could make interesting with the virtual world feel more realistic. The patent showcases a device is called an electrostatic side clutch and was originally filed in 2017 with it only recently being published by the United States Patent and Trademark office. The side clutch, which is the images is shown as an arm-worm accessory, would make use of haptic feedback motors to allow the user to feel resistance when interacting in a virtual environment.

“While mixed reality and virtual reality systems may provide an immersive visual and auditory experience, such systems may not provide a satisfying tactile experience for the user, in which virtual objects feel like real objects,” Microsoft said in the patent. “In particular, haptic device may be configured to provide resistive contact sensation in response to detection of contact between the body of the user in a virtual display object projected into a field of view,” Microsoft continued.

What is worth noting is that the experience shown in the picture is that of a user playing basketball within virtual space. The applications of the device could therefore be aimed at such a market, offering a more realistic gameplay experience. Further to the arm sleeve, a glove may also be worn to once again help replicate the real-world sensation of interaction. The different configurations for the device are detailed in the patent and show a range of different applications, all suitable for AR and VR use.

Though submitted by in 2017, and only a patent, it would not be a surprise to see Microsoft come out with a device like this that could work in conjunction with the Microsoft HoloLens, offering more immersive experiences and interaction. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on this story in the future.

IFLY Indoor Skydiving Announces New VR Experience

In case you missed it earlier in the week, the world’s largest indoor skydiving operator has announced a new VR experience offer an immersive 13,000 feet free fall ride. By taking state-of-the-art VR technology and combining it with 28 iFLY tunnels across the country, the company is hoping to offer visitors a unique experience unlike anything else all within a safe and controlled environment.

“The idea of a virtual reality flight experience has been a dream of the iFLY brand for more than two decades, but the technology wasn’t there,” said Dave Kirchhoff, iFLY CEO. “VR headsets are nothing new, and it’s something many of us have all experienced at a trade show or event, but nobody is applying VR technology to real-life scenarios like this. We are truly pushing boundaries to make this iFLY experience one-of-a-kind by making the dream of flight more tangible and more real than ever before.”

Guests who want to try the experience will need to go through a number of training requirements before preforming the immersive jump in VR. Beyond being used as a means of entertainment, the new experience could be a valuable tool in training jumpers before the real thing all while still offering that intense rush of free falling for 13,000 feet.

That is all for This Week In VR Sport. For more on immersive sport news keep reading VRFocus and remember to check back next week for another This Week In VR Sport.