NHL Brings Its Games to Virtual Reality
Soon enough, you can enjoy watching your favorite hockey teams right at the comforts of your home, thanks to virtual reality.
The National Hockey League (NHL) in cooperation with cloud computing company OTOY, Inc. have tested a futuristic, immersive way for diehard hockey fans to enjoy watching their favorite teams without having a courtside ticket. The crowd at the NHL Stadium Series game between the LA Kings and San Jose Sharks have witnessed the groundbreaking innovation in sports experiences with the virtual reality demo brought by OTOY.
OTOY demonstrated the live VR feed in high definition, offering a 360-degree view of the hockey arena. Even more so, the experience includes minute details such as the ability to look around with a view just above the glass surrounding the gaming rink. In addition, the user can see exclusive pre-game activities and practice sessions as if you are really sitting beside the rink.
Other key technical aspects of the VR experience include a 6K resolution footage with high-framerate, high-dynamic range video streams intended for non-live content. This is a step into the future of sports watching, and OTOY intends to record footages of future events using an experimental light field camera – specifically designed for even greater, richer quality VR experiences. If proved successful, OTOY will be utilizing this experimental camera for live-streamed hockey games in virtual reality as well.
NHL took a huge leap forward in bringing the most immersive sports experiences to its fans with its preview of the virtual reality live streaming abilities. According to Peter DelGiacco, Chief Technology Officer at NHL, “With the advancements in virtual reality, the National Hockey League is excited about exploring the types of experiences this emerging field can bring to our fans. The outdoor game between the Sharks and Kings at Levi’s Stadium provided a great backdrop for a very successful first-ever test of VR technology in an NHL game.”
Jules Urbach of OTOY said in a statement regarding their efforts to bring NHL games to virtual reality, “Virtual reality affords us a tremendous opportunity to enjoy experiences we might not otherwise have the ability to.” He added, “Whether you’re a fan living on the other side of the country, or you just couldn’t snag a seat to the big game in your own backyard, virtual reality lets you be as close to the action as any ticket holder. The NHL has always been incredibly progressive about how it uses technology to give fans access, and we’re excited by the possibilities of harnessing OTOY’s virtual reality technology to help the league get fans even closer to the game they love.”
The live VR game footage feature will be supported on most smartphones and tablets, and the Samsung Gear VR.
For more information on OTOY and NHL’s VR sports preview, please visit the following websites: