It seems everyone wants a piece of the virtual reality (VR) game these days. Allie, the company behind the “always-on” VR camera of the same name, has partnered with NBC Sports to provide live, 360-degree coverage of this year’s American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.
You may be thinking that golf is the last sporting event that needs to be live-streamed in VR, but NBC Sports and Allie believe differently. With the tournament held in scenic Lake Tahoe, a live VR experience will let viewers take in the full majesty of the event in a way that can’t be beat without physically being there.
“This partnership with the American Century Championship golf tournament is bringing golf fans closer than ever to the action, by giving them the clearest, most reliable view of this beautiful course and an up-close look at the celebrity competitors through the Allie Camera,” said Dmitry Kozko, CEO of Allie, in a press release.
Sports broadcasters are hoping that 360-degree video can further increase engagement with fans. It’s been used in everything from tennis to motorcycle racing, and will also play a role at the Olympics later this summer. Camera manufacturers, likewise, are hopeful that the adoption of VR continues to grow.
“This is just the beginning of the sports partnerships we’d like to pursue,” Kozko said, “as there are plenty of fans who want the most complete view possible when they’re enjoying a game or tournament from home.”
The Allie Camera is one of only a few cameras that can stream live, 360-degree content, and it does it in 4K, the company claims. It also records a full, 360×360-degree field of view and streams straight to YouTube. Allie recommends use of a VR headset for the full effect, although viewers can also watch 360-degree videos in Chrome or through YouTube’s mobile app.
The American Century Championship officially began this morning, with the last round scheduled for Sunday. For more information, head over to Allie’s website.