This Week In VR Sport: NextVR Bring WWE To Viewers, VR Empowering Referees And Pizza Hut Join NFL

Another weekend, another chance to look back at the past week or VR and AR sports.

Every weekend VRFocus brings you a number of sports and eSports related virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stories as part of This Week In VR Sport. This week, NextVR have released their highlights of the WWE Summer Slam 2018 for viewers to enjoy, football referees will soon be able to use VR to put themselfs into the shoes of the players and Pizza Hut team up with NFL for a number of promotions including packaging that features an AR videogame. 

WWE Summer Slam Kickoff

WWE Sumer Slam 2018 Highlights Come To NextVR App

NextVR, the entertainment platform that puts viewers closer then ever to the action has announced that their coverage of the WWE Summer Slam 2018 is now available to watch once again in the NextVR app. This VR experience gives fans a chance to be ringside to all the action and experience the thrill of each match like never before.

Now available in the app to re-watch whenever they want, fans will be able to enjoy highlights from select WWE Summer Slam 2018 matches and events and feel like they are in the ring themselves. The content can be enjoined on any NextVR compatible VR devices including Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, Windows Mixed Reality and PlayStation VR.

VR VAR
Image Credit: Manchester Evening News

VR Could Soon Be Used By Referees To Step In Players Shoes In Football Matches

VR technology will transform the way referees oversee a football match as they will be able to put themselves into the players shoes. This is according to Dave Horrocks, a sports researcher and senior lecturer in football coaching and analytics at the University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) in Manchester, who notes that the improvements in the immersive technology and satellite tracking will see a more immersive VAR system for referees.

“In effect, it means referees will have the technology to virtually become a goalkeeper and face the corner that’s just happened on the pitch to truly see a particular incident of play from virtually any angle,” Horrocks explained talking to the Manchester Evening News.

The satellite VR system is already in use for players and is used to assess and review actions throughout training in order to improve performance on match days. By leveraging the satellite VR system, titled Mi Hiepa and a tracking system called Trac Ab, the new installment of the system would allow referees a chance to step into the players shoes and gain a better understanding of what unfold during a match.

“It will enable the referee to put himself in Neymar’s shoes and know, without any element of doubt, whether he has been kicked or fouled or not,” Horrocks said. “That means the decision he makes will not have any margin for error and will be as accurate as if he had been the player involved in the incident.”

The system is currently in development and still has a way to go but for now Horrocks is hopefully that it’s implementation will occur during the Premier League by next season or the season after.

Pizza Hut Gets AR Packaging As Part Of NFL Promotion

Earlier this week it was announced by Pizza Hut that they have become the official sponsor of the National Football League (NFL) and to mark the event, the food chain have launched a number of new programs including interactive AR packaging.

This new special edition packaging will be available in all US Pizza Hut locations during the American Football season and will allow consumers a chance to interact with it via a app for iOS or Android. Once the camera is aligned with the top of the pizza box players will be able to unlock the ‘Beanbag Blitz’ game that is a virtual variant on the game of Cornhole in which a team of two takes turns throwing beanbags through a cornhole board.

“Pizza has the power to bring sports fans together, and for years, Pizza Hut has served as a gameday centerpiece in living rooms across the country. Now, as the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL, we’re going to celebrate football fans all season long,” said Marianne Radley, Chief Brand Officer, Pizza Hut, U.S. “We look forward to kicking off the season with our new league and team partners to deliver fans incredible in-home experiences and quality pizza each gameday.”

This new AR experience is just one of many plans that Pizza Hut have for the NFL season which will also see prize giveaways and exclusive pizza deals planned to run over the season as well.

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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