This Week In VR Sports: Virtual Data Offers New Opportunities

Real world data is helping to shape new experiences within the virtual world.

It’s time for another entry of This Week In VR Sport as one again VRFocus brings you a number of sports related virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stories. This week there is a theme of data being used to drive new experiences with Formula E and Virtually Live offering the chance to race against drives in real-time. FOX Sports reveal their Fifa World Cup VR offering and Beyond Sports announces the end of a successful seed funding round.

FOX Sports Unveils VR Options for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

FOXS SportsAhead of the upcoming Fifa World Cup in Russia, FOX Sports have revealed a number of different options for viewers to enjoy all the coverage of the event. With 64 matches to enjoy over the event period, there will be plenty to watch and enjoy. Across the FOX Sports App and FOXSports.com, the ‘World Cup Everywhere’ will be the main focus on Match Center, Highlight Machine and Team Channels. For fans of VR though, FOX Sports will be making all 64 matches available in multi-angle, social VR.

Introduced at last season’s Concacaf Gold Cup, FOX Sports will once again team up with LiveLike on bringing a social VR offering to viewers. This includes custom suites and three immersive, multi-angle VR feeds from each of the 64 matches.

FOX Sports’ Highlight Machine, presented by Adidas, will deliver all the highlights to viewers with a one-of-a-kind technology ensuring viewers get the best highlights from each match. By leveraging cognitive highlight and artificial intelligence (AI), users will be able to create their own highlight reel by year, team, player, matches or play type, with the ability to share the highlight to social media.

Elsewhere, viewers will be able to enjoy coverage of matches both before and after each match, views of matches from a ‘tactical view’ camera position high above one of the goals, a birds eye view of matches and around 448 additional hours of coverage across the length of the event on a number of FOX Sports platforms.

Beyond Sports Closes Seed Round Investment

Beyond Sports

Dutch based AI and visualization company, Beyond Sports, which offers VR, AR and MR products to the sports sector announced earlier this week that it had secured $2.36 million (USD) in seed round financing. Driven by their passion for sports and science, the company works to offer solution that use real match data to create virtual simulations of real sports matches, allowing viewing from any perspective, including a players point of view. The technology is designed for use by athletes, coaches, and clubs for training and review purposes with broadcasters able to leverage the technology to offer immersive experiences for fans.

The funding was leg by industry investors including David Blitzer, Seth Bernstein, Alan Goldfarb, Art Wrubel, Eric Aroesty, Scott Krase, Joshua Press and Matt Harris as well as Triple IT, a Dutch based technology company. The money will be used by Beyond Sports to grow its product development team and expand into additional sports and the healthcare markets, primarily within North America.

‘‘Our proprietary visualization engine has been successful in bringing cognition mapping, tactical training and immersive experiences to the forefront of the sports industry. Clubs, leagues, broadcasters and fans are benefitting from player tracking data in unique ways through our VR and AR based solutions” says Jeffrey Saunders, CEO of Beyond Sports.

As Beyond Sports bring to grow their business and expand their product, VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest.

Complete Against Drivers In Real-Time Thanks To Formula E And Virtually Live

Formula E Ghost Racing

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has announced a partnership with Virtually Live to create a world’s first in eSports by offering fans a chance to race against Formula E drivers in real-time. This opportunity is being made possible thanks to a new ground-breaking live ghost racing application which will be able available across multiple platforms, start with mobile and PC, with full VR integration coming in the future.

By using cutting-edge telemetry and Virtually Live’s proprietary technology platform, allowing a race to be recreated digitally in real-time. The action mirrors the position and order on the track precisely, with options available for fans to clip and share their experiences, achievements and near-misses on social media. This also means they can post their times after a race and claim fame and glory in the ghost racing scene. The new experience allows fans the chance to live the thrill of the race while competing against their favourite drivers.

Markus Tellenbach, CEO of Virtually Live, said: “Having partnered with the ABB FIA Formula E Championship since season two, providing CGI content of races to the world feed and to fans on the VR App Stores – we’re delighted to have signed a strategic long-term partnership with Formula E to provide the world’s first live ghost racing app. Combining the worlds of exciting street racing and gaming, with our innovative immersive technology, Virtually Live and Formula E are defining a new era in esports and engaging and building the fan base. The ghost racing app will allow fans to consume Formula E throughout the year on multiple platforms and share their experiences on social media. We therefore look forward to seeing fans of all abilities – whether a casual gamer on their mobile to an ambitious driver in VR – pitting their skills against the Formula E drivers and their friends. We would like to thank the FIA and Magneti Marelli for their assistance and vision in supporting the partnership.”

You can sign up to be one of the first to play this new title over on the Formula E website and in the meantime you can see it in action in the below video.

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.
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