Rio Olympics opens virtual reality visitor centre
One month out from the Rio Olympics, and already the games are a source of controversy. But there’s no doubt the major event will create history for virtual reality, which it’s set to use in a major way.
For the first time, Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) will be broadcasting high-definition images of the opening and closing ceremony in virtual reality, as well as one event per day.
In the run-up to the games, Samsung also released a 360-degree virtual reality film, Vanuatu Dreams, whicih follows two beach volleyball players from the Pacific island of Vanuatu in their bid for qualification for Rio 2016.
The broadcast of events in VR will be something of a groundbreaking development for the use of the tech in such a massive tournament.
Rio's new digital centre
But its virtual reality use doesn’t stop there. Rio’s recently opened a new museum and digital centre, where it’s put VR headsets on display for people to explore the city.
From the pictures the headsets look like Samsung Gear VR, and visitors can use them to ‘visit’ Olympic venues and attractions across the city.
The Museu Cidade Olímpica is in the Engenho de Dentro region of Rio, near the renovated Olympic Stadium. Visitors can use one of the four headsets to view aerial footage filmed from hang gliders and helicopters, including shots of Olympic regions such as Deodoro and Barra, the rejuvenated city centre, as well as the Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana beach.
The centre will also focus on interactive experiences such as getting people to try out Olympic and Paralympic games as well as learn about the influence of tech on sport.
It seems the games will not only be a true testing bed for the use of virtual reality in broadcasting large sporting tournaments and events, but also for digital and sustainable tourism. High viewer figures will be expected to tune in via VR, but there are of course other considerations when taking lessons for future events - from data centres being able to cope to television licensing for the broadcast of live games.
But, we’ll see how it plays out in a month’s time.
Are you going to tune in to Rio's games next month? Let us know!
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