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Virtual reality to deliver front-row views of music and sporting events at home

Peter Rolfe, June 25, 2017 6:00PM Herald Sun

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FUTURE generations of sports fans and music enthusiasts could get the best view in the house without leaving the comfort of their home thanks to new technology.

“Next VR” virtual reality will give fans the views and experiences typically reserved for the top ticket holders with the sights and sounds of sport and entertainment sent straight to their living room.

Virtual reality is a digital simulation of real life to create an image or space that can be interacted with in a way that feels real.

The AFL is reviewing the technology which shows live action on the field filmed from front row seats and beams the vision and sound to viewers via special, virtual reality glasses.

Sony’s PlayStation VR prototype. Picture: supplied media_cameraSony’s PlayStation VR prototype. Picture: supplied

It means you can view the action anywhere with an internet connection, as though you were actually there.

The NBA, the big US basketball league, already screens live regular-season games through the technology to an international audience and the NFL, the big US gridiron competition, has a dedicated NewVR channel for replays.

Some of the action fan could experience through their glasses. Picture: AAP media_cameraSome of the action fan could experience through their glasses. Picture: AAP

Golf, boxing, tennis and music promoters have also begun using it overseas.

AFL media and broadcasting general manager Peter Campbell said the league, in partnership with Telstra and Samsung, trialled virtual reality technology during last year’s finals series.

He said the trial was a good experience in what does and doesn’t work with the virtual reality viewing experience.

“One of those (problems) is the size of our field of play and the ability for cameras operating in VR mode to capture the size of the field, the speed of play and the fact that our game has less stop/start action,’’ he said.

But the technology is expected to develop at a rapid rate.

“We will continue to monitor the progress of VR with great interest, and how various sports are trying these new and varied types of technical innovation,’’ he said.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James dunks. Picture: Ezra Shaw media_cameraCleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James dunks. Picture: Ezra Shaw

NextVR replays of this year’s NBA Finals were available soon after matches, with fans given views from a courtside view of the exploits* of stars LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

The US Open used the technology at last year’s tennis Grand Slam and it is being used to film music artists backstage and while performing to huge audiences.

G LOSSARY

exploits: activities

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. Descriptive writing

Virtual reality is able to simulate the sights and sounds of a big event so that it seems like you’re there, but what about your other senses?
Write a description (either a paragraph or as a poem) of what it is like to be at sporting match or concert, making sure you include all of your five senses.

Extension:

Would you rather go out to an actual event or stay home and experience the event with virtual reality?
Explain your reasoning.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English

Activity 2. Comprehension

What is virtual reality and how does it work?

List three advantages and three disadvantages of virtual reality.

How is virtual reality already being used?

Based on the comments from the AFL in the story, should we expect to see AFL games broadcast in a virtual reality format in the near future?
Why or why not?

Extension:

Virtual reality can provide the opportunity to experience things we might not otherwise have the chance to be part of.

Write a list of 10 things you’d like to see or do using VR technology.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English

VCOP ACTIVITY

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)


Enter the VR World!

You are about to use a virtual reality headset for the first time. Write a sentence describing what you see using the following words/phrases as your Openers:

Suddenly Shivering Whenever

Abruptly Holding my breath Then

Meanwhile Nervously I

Time: allow approximately 15 minutes

Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP

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