Olympic Virtual Reality: Rio in 3D

Beach Volleyball in Virtual RealityDuring the 2016 Rio Olympics, the BBC are broadcasting a number of events, live, in 360° Virtual Reality. Fancy a front row seat at the Olympics? Want to immerse yourself in the fun and excitement of sitting with the crowd? Interested in testing a new way of experiencing sport? If your answer is “yes!” to any of these questions, join me this summer while I test this service during the Olympics. I’ll report my findings on this blog later in the summer. If you are interested in this experimental Olympic Virtual Reality service you’ll need some equipment…

Items you’ll need:

  • Either an iPhone or an Android phone
  • The BBC Sport 360 app (for iPhone, for Android)
  • Virtual Reality headset. I bought mine for £12.99 from a local store but Amazon are currently selling them starting at £3.88 for a very basic set. Just make sure that your phone fits the headset.
  • A decent broadband connection to view the events live.
  • (Optional) A good set of headphones to completely immerse yourself into the event. Don’t worry if you don’t have any headphones, the phone speakers will do just fine.

Boxing in Virtual RealityImportant – Olympic Virtual Reality is limited to just a handful of events (this is an experimental service after all) and, so far, there have only been one or two different camera positions to choose from. Don’t expect instant replays, commentary or a multitude of different camera positions; viewing Olympic Virtual Reality is like watching an event as if you are sitting in the crowd yourself. It takes a bit of getting used to and the occasional buffering of the video feed might drive you insane! However, it’s well worth a try and certainly a good way to play with Virtual Reality if you’re new to it.

If you get to experience the Olympics in glorious Virtual Reality, do ‘join the discussion’ below and let me know what you think. I’ll add your comments to my blog post later in the summer.


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