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How VR headsets can make sports ten times more awesome

Fair enough, VR headsets aren’t exactly the coolest thing around. But combine them with sports, which everyone knows is the coolest thing ever, and suddenly you have an enticing and sexerific interactive experience.

VR headsets. With one strapped to your face, you automatically look about as sexy as a dead blowfish and as intelligent as Kim Kardashian’s bum. But the likes of Samsung’s Gear VR headset could progress beyond simple time-wasters and one field where they might prove their mettle is sports.

Samsung’s Milk VR service allows Gear VR users to enjoy all kinds of 360-degree virtual content on their headsets, including sports clips and other gubbins. And while that’s lovely and all, surely VR tech would be put to better use if we could watch our sports live, in an all-new interactive fashion?

What we need is a series of 360-degree cameras (Samsung has already announced its own 360-degree camera which would do the job nicely), getting into all of the places where we usually can’t roam. Imagine standing at the sidelines of a football match, right between the two managers as they scream orders at their teams (or, with any luck, indulge in a spot of tie-pulling fisticuffs like Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho). Or dipping into the cloakroom at half time, to enjoy a severe bollocking.

Speaking of grown men having a go at one another, how brilliant would it be if drones packing those same 360-degree cameras could descend and hover over the pitch when things got a little tasty. You could enjoy every last Diego stomp and Suarez chomp up-close, as if you were some kind of hideous man-butterfly hybrid swooping down for a quick glance. Ahhh, we can practically smell the testosterone from here.

Sadly, it’s not a truly original idea. Apparently there’s already a serious problem with punters crashing American Football matches with their personal drones, to the extent that the FAA had to ban them from this year’s Super Bowl. Anyone caught piloting a drone within the no-fly zone will be ‘intercepted, detained and interviewed’ by the cops and could end up with jail time. Presumably the charge sheet will read ‘for being a prize pillock’.

Go one more step into the future and maybe we could actually see each sport from the point of view of the athletes. Suddenly, rugby and ice hockey would turn into visceral, adrenaline-pumping first-person horror shows, like a real-life version of Doom. And beach volleyball…well, that’s reason enough to stay in on a Saturday with the blinds drawn.

Got any more ideas of how VR could transform sports for viewers? Let us know in the comments below.


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