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The Olympics and VR – A Winning Combination?

Despite that fact that augmented and virtual reality has not quite taken off like they were expected to yet, they remain at the forefront of cutting edge technology. When it comes to virtual reality in particular, it’s important that users properly manage their expectations – previous ideas involving being taken away to new complex universes or taking a trip above the clouds and through the galaxy are currently a long way off. However, if there’s one area where virtual reality is trying its best to enhance the user experience it is the streaming and watching of live events through the use of a VR headset.

The medium has already enjoyed a decent amount of success in the music arena, with high profile acts such as Coldplay and Steve Wonder recently broadcasting their live concerts in VR. Now, it’s the turn of the Winter Olympics currently taking place in Pyeongchang to try and bring the action (but hopefully not the weather) into your front room. With the notorious and widely publicising teething problems than VR has experienced in the past, has NBC struck gold with their virtual reality experience?

Choosing The Correct Events

Quite sensibly, the events that have been available to watch in VR through the course of the Olympics have included many high-octane sports. Whether you chose to watch 2/1 favorite Lizzy Yarnold retain her Skeleton crown on the NBC’s bobsledding split screen, or decided to linger at the bottom of the ski slopes in order to see Oysten Braaten win slope style gold at the fairly generous price of 7/2, the feedback from the coverage has been fairly impressive overall.

Whilst it was also possible to watch events such as figure skating, the technology certainly lends itself to the more action-packed events where VR can at least attempt to replicate the atmosphere which you would experience if you’d booked a flight over to South Korea. Of course, you are free to choose whatever event takes your fancy, but watching an athlete hurtling down the slope at around 80 mph sounds like the best way to properly utilize virtual reality to its full potential – something with CBS’s Cody Benjamin found particularly enthralling when testing out the technology.

Virtual Reality is a Good Bet For Tokyo 2020

If jetting off to Tokyo in two years doesn’t take your fancy then don’t panic. It’s likely that Virtual Reality will be available for the next Summer Olympics. With VR getting a bit of a run out at Rio in 2016, the hope is that the technology will be able to offer users an even more complete experience.

Interestingly enough, Usain Bolt is around 8/11 with Spin Palace to come out of retirement and race in Tokyo. The casino was founded all the way back in 2001 and has since grown to become one of the best known global online casinos. With many helpful online reviews where you can learn all about Spin Palace Casino, backing Bolt to return and take the gold in Tokyo at 8/11 looks an appealing punt, especially considering the $200 welcome bonus available.

A post shared by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) on

Grab a Headset and Get Involved

With the price of most VR headsets currently at their most reasonable, there’s never been a better time to pick one up. Of course, a little bit of research is required on your part to make sure you get the right one for the right price but if you don’t fancy a 13-hour flight to Tokyo (who does?), watching the finest athletes in the world zoom past you on the track is certainly the next best alternative.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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