Getting up, close and personal at Super Bowl LI may no longer cost you a year’s salary. For the first time, Super Bowl highlights will be delivered in virtual reality– in near real time.
Fox Sports and virtual reality production company LiveLike VR will broadcast 20 highlights from Super Bowl LI in virtual reality through the Fox Sports VR app. Four highlights each quarter will be uploaded, with four prepared for pre- and post-game. “The touchdowns, the epic plays are what we are going to be looking for,” LiveLike CEO Andre Lorenceau told Digital Trends regarding which plays will be chosen for the highlight package.
LiveLike will have six cameras capturing the game in 4K resolution all around Houston’s NRG Stadium. One camera will be in each end zone, one from the press box view above the field on each 50-yard line, and two cart cameras that will be moving around throughout the game. You will be able to toggle between vantage points in the middle of a highlight by tapping one of the camera icons on the screen. Those with the app installed will get push notifications when new highlights are available to view.
Fox Sports has live-streamed collegiate football games in VR but Super Bowl LI will be its first taste of the NFL. “We’ve never really done real-time highlights, which is a pretty big deal,” LiveLike Chief Business Officer Miheer Walavalkar said. At press time, LiveLike does not know how long it will take to upload the highlights in VR because the company is “on the verge of having a minor breakthrough in cutting our time down significantly” according to Lorenceau.
The NFL has been using highlights to immerse its fans in VR the entire 2016 season. Virtual reality production companies NextVR and Voke VR produced 10-minute VR highlight packages for seven NFL games combined.
To watch Tom Brady’s spirals in virtual reality, you will need to download the free Fox Sports VR app. You will need to sign in with your television provider credentials to watch the highlights. Fox Sports VR can be viewed on Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR; it works with Android and iOS devices. Fox Sports VR also has a “magic window” mode which allows anyone to view the 360-degree footage on their phone, without a VR headset.
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