The future of sports broadcasting has been showcased at an event at MediaCityUK, with a virtual stadium experience immersing viewers.
Salford University partnered with DigitalSport to host an event which will aim to feature demonstrations of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). It included an immersive video football match demonstration, designed by Salford student Elena-Mary Calarasu.
As part of the project, a Salford City match was filmed on a special camera and then projected the game on a huge screen as a virtual stadium experience. The crowd has also been filmed and was shown on a separate screen behind and sound from the match was projected in 360 degrees.
The result was an incredibly immersive experience that felt more like being at the match than just watching on a TV screen. The idea is that in the future sports clubs could invest in such technology to enable their fans who can’t get to games can still enjoy the match experience and will then become more involved with the club.
Elena, who is studying for a business and IT degree at the University of Salford Business School, explained: “We wanted to get rid of the headsets but still get the same experience. It’s a very social thing. The idea is to bring fans closer to the action. It will allow fans who don’t live near their team to be involved in the action.
“For example Man City fans who live in China could get a much better experience if this technology is used.”
As well as the video two oculus rift headsets were available for people to try out.
Dan Mclaren, CEO of DigitalSport.co, who co organised the event, added: “We want to immerse people in the topic of VR. VR is currently struggling to get out of the cool phase. Everyone agrees that it looks amazing but what we need to do now is focus on how it can be useful, what is the need for it.”