After years of unfulfilled promise from developers, it finally appears as though immersive technology is slowly but surely breaking into the mainstream. The entertainment industry – including sports broadcasting – is proving to be a particularly fruitful playground for virtual reality and augmented reality technology; firms such as Ticketmaster are now able to show customers the view from their seat before they purchase their ticket, while others are opting to stream full music gigs in augmented reality via a number of headsets. Although the technology is undoubtedly impressive, will we ever get to the point where it becomes more popular than being physically present at the game?
Convenience More Important Than Ever
Is technology making us lazier as a species? Or is new technology simply capitalizing on the fact that we are getting lazier of our own accord? No matter where you stand on this issue, convenience plays a big part in the life of a modern-day adult. To this end, immersive experiences are much more convenient than having to actually get dressed and leave the house. The most recent NBA playoffs were available to watch in virtual reality and drew rave reviews from the large majority of those who partook in the experience. With tech company Intel also rolling out 360-degree replays to the English Premier League earlier in the year, it appears that firms are already doing everything they can to get ahead of the curve and believe that immersive experience may be the future of sport.
When pitting IRL (in real life) experience against the use of immersive technology, it's important to look at what you gain and lose with each different activity. On the gaming front, a number of online casinos now offer live games which simulate the experience of being at the casino with live dealers, chat options and opponents. Consequently, there are a number of bonuses and special offers only available on these platforms and as reviewed here, they seem to go down well with repeat customers. The NFL's latest experiments with immersive technology allow fans to see the game from many different angles, including various player perspectives. When you consider that you'd have to crane your neck like an owl for many of these views, technology certainly adds value in this regard.
On the Other Hand…
Can you really beat being live at a sports game or any other entertainment venue? The smell, the atmosphere, and the physical jostling; these are things which are lost on immersive technology and cannot be properly replicated (for now at least). No matter how far the technology goes, the camaraderie associated with supporting your favorite team with strangers or the thrill and excitement of seeing things play out right in front of your eyes is still unmatched in many people's eyes.
A Matter of Taste?
As of right now, immersive technology is simply another (albeit interesting) option when it comes to watching sport or participating in other entertainment events. However, at the rate in which the technology progresses, who knows just how far it can take us within the next 20 years or so? In any case, we believe that the two will be able to co-exist in peace for a while longer yet so whichever method is your preference, sit back, grab a drink and enjoy yourself.