Intel’s augmented reality brings Red Bull Rampage into your living room

Red Bull Rampage, the death-defying extreme freeride mountain biking event that sees riders literally throwing themselves off of cliffs, returns Friday, October 26 — and this year, fans will have an entirely new way to watch it. The event is set in Virgin, Utah, but if you can’t make it, don’t worry, Red Bull partnered with Intel to bring the action right to your living room thanks to augmented reality and 360-degree video.

Viewers can interact with a photorealistic 3D model of the course in AR on supported iOS and Android devices within the Red Bull TV app. Watch the mountain come to life before your eyes on your coffee table, desk, or floor and pan around it or move up close to see detail. Not only does this capture the immense size and scale of the mountainside, but it also allows fans to zoom in on key points of interest overlaid on the digital mountainside, from interviews and behind-the-scenes clips to point-of-view videos from the riders. Four 360-degree cameras will also be set up around the course, with the app offering a seamless transition from the AR environment to the 360-degree streams. Everything will run concurrently alongside the traditional live broadcast, which will be viewable on a virtual billboard in the AR space.

Augmented reality is often used to showcase much smaller objects, like shoes or furniture, which can be built in a 3D-modeling program. But building a model of an entire mountainside required something more involved. To accurately capture the scale and detail of the Rampage course, Intel flew an automated drone along programmed flight paths above it, capturing some 1,200 high-resolution images that were then processed in the cloud-based Intel Insight Platform to create the photorealistic model.

Red Bull Rampage will see 21 of the world’s best riders come to Utah, including North of Nightfall stars Cameron Zink, Tom Van Steenbergen, and Carson Storch. The event is unique in that it allows each team to build their own elements and lines along the course, so no two runs are the same. Live coverage begins at 3 p.m. PT on Thursday, October 25.

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