VR takes over winter sports: From training to viewership FEATURE

Sports and virtual reality are the perfect mix for athletes as well as those who just want to join in on the fun.

Virtual reality is rocking the world of sports, none more so than the upcoming Winter Games. Mashable reports that for the last two years, United States Ski and Snowboard has been working with STRIVR to help athletes get in their best shape. The Menlo Park, California-based startup creates the 360-videos that skiers and snowboarders can use to experience specific slopes before they hit them in real life.

The NFL, NHL, and NBA also use STRIVR's platform to train their players, and the startup claims that some athletes improved reaction time by 20%. Anne Field writes that STRIVR films a team in action and delivers the video to a player via a VR headset. This gives the athlete the ability to go through plays over and over, watching interactions from different angles and views.

Jason Deign also recently wrote about Carv, a startup for wearable technology specifically made for skiers. Carv's system has sensors that records data in ski boots—this data can be used to apply real-time adjustments and techniques.

For those who think experiencing expert-level snow sports first-hand sounds incredible, the games in South Korea are providing VR videos for eager viewers. NBC's partnership with Intel provides over 50 hours of virtual reality, 360-videos from the games in PyeongChang. Users with Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and Google Daydream can access these interactive videos using the NBC Sports VR app. To check out the full VR programming schedule, check here.

Fan experience companies like NextVR captures sports events with multiple 3D cameras, allowing viewers with headsets to enjoy the game from any seat in the stadium.

Cisco wanted to bring fans closer to the experience and to their favorite athletes at Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, incorporating a ton of technology from the Cisco Connected Stadium platform. Connecting and interacting with event-goers starts when they enter the building— personalized messages are sent welcoming each guest. Stadium Vision creates tailored content so that different screens are playing specific video at key times. Of course, public Wi-Fi is available for everyone, and allows the stadium to understand their consumers' Wi-Fi usage.

To learn more, check out the video below.


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About Stephanie Chan

Stephanie Ellen Chan is the Editorial and Video Producer at Cisco. She has a passion for writing about the intersection of culture, media, art, and technology.