FOX Sports was experimenting with virtual reality over the weekend, teaming up with NextVR to test live VR broadcasting from a NASCAR event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Two cameras captured 180-degree and 360-degree footage from in and around the pits during Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday. It was streamed live on a closed circuit to a TV compound right there at the track.
NextVR has already produced NBA and NHL demos. I’ve seen the NBA demo, sitting courtside and catching a glimpse of the bright future in store for VR sports streaming. Nascar is even better suited for VR technology as it stands today for the same reason developers first gravitated toward roller coaster simulations. Racing is the one “sport” in which an “athlete” can take a 360 degree camera with them everywhere they go. Also, you as a passenger would be sitting still in a seat if you. I assume that’s where they’re going with this.
NextVR touts themselves as the only virtual reality platform system able to transmit long-form live VR content. They stream through their own encoding technology and use the Samsung Gear VR as their display of choice.
“NextVR has spent the last six years perfecting their VR technology, which made them the logical first choice for FOX Sports to partner with for this test,” said Mike Davies, FOX Sports SVP Field Operations. “NextVR currently is one of the only companies with the ability to transmit live in VR, and their technology is built on a broadcast platform, making it infinitely scalable.”
Let the countdown to VR ticket sales begin. How much would you pay to sit shotgun with your favorite NASCAR driver?
We also caught up with NextVR over the weekend at the VRLA Spring Expo