The NFL Says The Future Of Watching Football Is Virtual Reality

3 November 2015, 2:55 pm EST By Mark Lelinwalla Tech Times
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Several teams in the NFL have already invested in virtual reality training ... and the league has taken notice.

The National Football League has launched a digital video series called NFL Next, which takes a look at all the technology revolutionizing football, including biometrics, player tracking and especially virtual reality.

The eight-episode video series will feature leading VR companies such as Oculus, Eon Sports VR and STRIVR Labs, which Tech Times profiled as the leading virtual reality training program supplier of NFL teams, and even Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck.

Part of the series will touch on the stadium of the future, with tech experts discussing if fans will see the day that they could purchase a virtual Super Bowl seat for $10 and other ways they can mentally transport their living rooms onto the football field via virtual reality.

"The seat at the 50-yard line in the first or second row, that might go for around $1,000 a ticket, but what you could also do is sell that same seat for $10 a ticket to 100,000 people," Max Cohen, head of mobile at Oculus, says in the video series.

Adds Jeremy Bailenson, of Stanford's virtual human Interaction lab: "When VR is done well, there's no technology, there's no gadgets. It's not about pixels or refresh rate. It's an experience. There's complete mental transportation. You forget that you're even wearing the helmet. You are just mentally transported somewhere else." 

With the booming popularity and growth of virtual reality, Oculus and other leaders in the space are looking to score a touchdown by enhancing fans' overall viewing experience and providing them total immersion.

"If you could actually beam that experience to people where you're sitting next to your favorite player, you look to your right and you see them and you look ahead and the coach is there firing up the team," Cohen says. "That's something that is less about the money of going to the game but about creating that emotional connection in a deeper way that you can't normally get from watching that thing on a TV." 

Can't wait. To watch episodes of NFL Next, click here.

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