The National Basketball League (NBA) is going to be one of the first sports associations to support a full season of live games through virtual reality. They will be broadcasting 27 “live” games in virtual reality by using the NextVR app for Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR.
Gamepass holders will additionally have access to a virtual “Screening Room” that will allow them to view every single game on demand in VR and 13 games will be available for them to watch on a big virtual screen. The Mixed Reality platform from Microsoft will be supported for those with MR headsets.
Virtual reality has a main selling point of giving the user an immersive viewing experience, which especially applies to sports and sporting events. This new technology is allowing people from all around the world to come together, without having to leave their homes. The popularity of online events is clear, with the virtual event market being expected to grow from $14 billion to $18 billion between 2018 and 2023
Seeing as how 51% of exhibitors say they appreciate face-to-face meetings with people and customers, virtual events are giving people that opportunity, without having to actually meet in person. With the increase in use of virtual reality, it’s expected that there will be many other businesses and organizations experimenting with virtual reality over the next few years.
Facebook is one social media platform that is already highly invested in the virtual reality market. Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, has announced a few innovations in Facebook’s virtual reality technology.
Facebook notified users that there will be new features for its virtual reality hangout app, Spaces. The new features allow users to bring in their own photos and videos into Spaces and stream 360-degree videos in the app.
In April, Spaces first went live for the Oculus Rift headset. The app was designed to blend the immersive aspects of VR with Facebook, giving the users a unique opportunity to “hangout” in VR with their Facebook friends.
Facebook also announced their plan to launch a virtual reality “Venues” app next year that will give people the ability to “watch live concerts, and live sports, and premieres of movies and TV shows, all around the world with friends.”
Zuckerberg also announced the new Oculus Go standalone mobile VR headset. The headset will include a 3.5mm headphone jack along with integrated spatial audio with speakers built into the headset, which will allow users to easily watch concerts through Venues.
While it’s currently unclear who will be recording the content that can be viewed through Venues, it’s expected that will all of Facebook’s content partnerships, they shouldn’t have any trouble finding partners to work with them to give users this immersive experience.