While the Olympics begin later this week, Pyeongchang will be more accessible than ever before. With virtual reality technology, fans can have an immersive experiential view of the games.
Intel plans to produce the largest live virtual reality event at the Winter Olympics where fans can choose from 30 events and six camera angles. In addition, audiences can view on-demand broadcasts of venue tours and scenic views of South Korea. The company uses a combination of volumetric video, virtual reality, computer vision and analytics to produce a VR broadcast.
The new technology changes the way viewers interact with the media and how fans consume sports. An immersive experience allows for fans to experience the games without actually attending. It completely alters the way fans “watch” games.
It allows fans to connect with new cultures and introduces environments they typically are unable to experience, such as watching the event from the athlete’s point of view. However, it also deducts from the social interactions of watching with other fans. VR reduces communication and makes sports a single-user past time.
VR also communicates stories and builds relationships with audiences through emotional connection. Many advertisers are incorporating the technology into their consumer campaigns. This opens a new avenue for public relations practitioners and advertisers.
However, this life-like experience limits fans who are financially unable to afford virtual reality goggles, which can cost hundreds of dollars. While some would argue this allows fans a more cost-effective way to attend the Olympics, it dismisses a population of viewers who can only rely on traditional television broadcasts.
The future of VR is largely dependent on how fans decide they want to consume their sports and their adaptability to the new technology.
This blog post was written by Firm Director Clarissa Ford.