This Week In VR Sport: Looking Forward To 2028

It is that time of the week again where VRFocus brings you another entry of This Week In VR Sport. With a number of sports related virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stories, with this week looking as far forward as the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic games.

SOLOS Smart Glasses Now Available For Purchase

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign back in 2016, Solos have now made their AR smart glasses available to consumers for purchase. The smart glasses are designed with cyclists and runners in mind, allowing them to get real-time metrics on their performance as they train.

The smart glasses act as a “heads-up” display, with readings for measures such as speed, power zones, calories burnt, distance and elevation, heart rate, and cadence all able to pop up on the lens. With built voice commend support and sensors, the smart glasses are also able to allow the user to make calls and get needed information all while remaining hands free.
The crowdfunding campaign ended with the Solos smart glasses reaching 250% of their goal, having meet the initial target within a few days. The smart glasses are available to purchase now for the price of $499 (USD) from the Solos website.  

Sansar Introduces Social VR To Overwatch League

In case you missed it, earlier this week social VR platform Sansar announced it had a partnership with several professional teams from the Overwatch League (OWL), the professional eSports league, allowing fans and players to interact in new ways thanks to VR.

The collaboration will allow Overwatch teams such as the Houston Outlaws and San Francisco Shock to interact with their fans in a one-on-one way with players and personalities from within the eSports industry. The Sansar social eSports experience is designed to give users the same experience that they might expect from a live even but within a virtual space offering exclusive opportunities such as meet-and-greets, exclusive merchandise giveaways and even virtual photo opportunities.

“We’ve seen a real need in the esports market for a deeper, more engaging fan experience – something that can go beyond normal spectatorship to really draw people in,” said Ebbe Altberg, CEO at Linden Lab. “We feel social VR is perfectly poised to meet this need, and we’re thrilled to find forward-thinking esports partners that feel the same – trailblazing teams that recognize VR’s potential and are willing to evolve and innovate to deliver world-class experiences. Their investments in Sansar are investments in their communities.”

Currently Sansar will be offering San Francisco Shock fans the chance to enter the SD Shock Epicentre, a specially created virtual space for eSports use which is available exclusively for Sansar. Information on this and future arenas wil be available via the Sansar website.

Chairman of Los Angeles 2028 Wants To Transform The Olympic Fan Experience Through Technology

LA 2028

Ahead of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic, Chairman Casey Wasserman has spoken out about how he is intent on using the next 10 years to transform the Olympic experience for fans and viewers with the help of technology. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival in New York City earlier this week, Wasserman explained: “I think what we have is really an incredible platform for creative and technology-driven minds to engage with, we are someone who has the time and the resources to invest in exciting ideas and to take some risks around those things. We can focus on the experience. We can focus on the engagement.”

Los Angeles 2028 is in a rather good position as organizing committee do not need to build much in the way of permanent venue space and the ten year notice period offers them plenty of time to explore new experience. This is what Wasserman is keen on doing, having spoken about his goal for “The Digital Olympics”. It is with technology such as VR and AR that this is looking to be made a possible reality, offering viewers an immersive Olympic experience like never before with Wasserman noting that AR presenting “a meaningfully significant opportunity”.

“Because all of our facilities are owned by private enterprise, they have more incentive than we would ever have to keep them up to date and operating at the highest levels,” Wasserman said in regards to the position the committee are in with the needed venue spaces, adding: “We have very few unknowns on the cost side, so we have great confidence in our ability to deliver the Games in the way that we proposed we would deliver them.”

“Today, when you host an Olympics, what you essentially do at every venue is build a printing press so you can print stats and news for every reporter on site,” Wasserman said. “It’s kind of crazy, why isn’t there—if you’re a reporter or a fan—an LA28 app where you can have access to all their stories, see their videos, see behind the scenes. Everything that people watching NBC get excited about, which is the context, not just the actual event.”

As the months and years pass in the run up to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic games, VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on their technology developments.

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.