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With a NASCAR test completed, NextVR’s virtual reality tech looks to augment other sports

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Virtual reality isn’t just for video games anymore.

Spearheaded by products like the Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy Note 4, and Oculus Rift, the VR movement has gained a lot of momentum in recent years. As the technology continues to improve, virtual immersion into sporting events, concerts, and even military simulations will become more and more commonplace.

NextVR, a technology company from Laguna Beach, California, has announced a partnership with Fox Sports to explore the potential of virtual reality streaming at NASCAR events. Using cameras mounted on the pit road and next to the track, NextVR recently tested its system for Fox executives at a recent Sprint Cup Series event.

It passed with flying, three-dimensional colors.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“There’s something about the immediacy of it,” David Cole, Co-Founder of NextVR told Digital Trends. “We’re able to put you in a position that you otherwise just simply could not as a fan get. Whether that’s very very close to the action or dangerously close to the track, or in the pit area, you feel extremely connected to the action. It’s much less spectating; you feel more engaged in the process.”

With previous successes at basketball, hockey, and musical events, the sky is the limit for NextVR’s tech.

“We’re testing with darn near everything, particularly on the sports front,” continued Cole. “The broadest statement to make about the way we’re approaching VR is go to where the largest fan bases in the world are … to go to the experiences that already attract the attention and fan loyalty of hundred of millions and bring those experiences into VR as accurately as we can.

“It really feels like you’re going there,” he said.

NextVR is not alone. With Valve, HTC, Oculus VR, and countless others entering the market, Cole calls the VR landscape “a race to the top.”

“There’s little latitude for quality of experience being anything less than 100-percent perfect,” Cole remarked. “Anything less than that from any key vendor sort of risks the entire enterprise of never being able to live up to its full potential.”

In short, if you can’t make the race, NextVR is working hard to bring the race to you.

Andrew Hard
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Andrew first started writing in middle school and hasn't put the pen down since. Whether it's technology, music, sports, or…
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