While gaming seems to be garnering most of the attention these days within virtual reality circles, it’s the sports industry which really could make a significant dent in the market moving forward. Heavy investment has poured into the VR sports space over the last year, with the Los Angeles-based company, NextVR, landing a significant chunk of that funding. NextVR has already made history, thanks to a partnership with the NBA to air a game between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans back in October of last year. Since they they have continued to ramp up the technology behind their broadcasts and this weekend they have announced yet another interesting partnership.
This time NextVR has teamed with Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions to release a one-of-a-kind virtual reality training video of WBC, Ring Magazine, and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez, as he prepares for his title bout next week against Amir “King” Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
“We want to bring fans into the boxing ring, which is better than a front row seat,” explained Executive Chairman of NextVR, Brad Allen. “The magic of virtual reality is that after, people talk about it like they were really there.”
To film the training video in an ultra high definition, 360-degree format for virtual reality consumption, the team at NextVR used three RED Digital Cinema 6K Professional Cameras placed at various locations around the ring that Álvarez trains at in San Diego, CA. The content is then viewable for those individuals who own a Samsung Gear VR headset and have downloaded the NextVR application. For those without the GearVR headset, the content will also be made available on YouTube and Facebook, where viewers will be able to scroll within the video to change the angle of viewing.
According to Golden Boy Promotions, this is only the first in a series of many virtual reality experiences based on their boxers. Whether an actual fight will be broadcast or not in the coming months is not yet known, but we assume that such content will eventually become available, whether it’s from this partnership or another. For those of you interested in the Álvarez Vs. Khan fight, it can be viewed via HBO’s Pay-Per-View on May 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Let us know if you’ve checked out the VR training video and what your thoughts were. Discuss in the NextVR / Golden Boy Promotions VR Boxing forum on VRTalk.com.