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Virtually Live: Live Sports Event Broadcasting Virtual Reality Platform

If you’re a fanatic of any sport, you know how important it is for you to have all up-to-date information about plays, athletes and how your team is performing. With apps and live-broadcasts, fans have a lot of information at the tip of their fingers. But what is the next step for fans to get closer to the action?

Virtually Live has developed a VR platform that will allow fans to immerse themselves on the field, in a private booth with 6 screens, on the sidelines or pretty much anywhere in the stadium. It also provides a social atmosphere to it, where friends can be in the same private booth, enjoying the game.

Scenes are virtually recreated, using data gathered from STATS, live broadcasts, motion-capture cameras and other data collecting techniques. This data is then ported to game engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine 4, to bring virtual avatars and the stadium to life.

As explained by Will Winston (Media Director), the data is able “to feed us running reports of X, Y, and Z coordinates for every player on a given field. Just from those numbers we can tell you, for example, whether or not Steph Curry is shooting the ball, where he’s shooting from, if he’s jumping, how high he’s jumping, etc.”

This sort of utilization of data to re-create sporting events, will keep fans coming back for more. Virtually Live is still sorting through and improving the quality of their platform. One example, is that avatar’s movements within the virtual stadium are a little rigid and doesn’t match the natural motion of the athlete being portrayed. This reduces the affect of ‘presence.’ Improving things like that, will make this a competitive live-broadcasting sports platform, as Virtually Live continues to improve avatar’s athletic motion and stadium quality.

With the social aspect of the platform, people will definitely feel immersed in the VR stadium, upping the factor of ‘presence.’ Imagine not having to plan an outing to a live event with friends, saving on money and time and always have sideline view or a suite of 6 television to watch every angle of the event. For those who spend most game nights isolated, this would be an opportunity to connect with friends and other fans as well.

Virtually Live is only one example, only one piece of the puzzle in how virtual reality environments and platforms will be able to enhance and benefit the things we already do. This almost makes me believe there’s a way for people to become more physically active through virtual worlds. In any case, you can visit their website to learn more about Virtually Live and their future plans.

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