Samsung is bringing Virtual Reality to the Olympics, Super Bowl and Rugby

On February 12, the opening ceremony for the 2016 Youth Olympic Games will be filmed and live streamed in 360-degree VR, courtesy of the Korean tech giant.

All people will need to tune in is a Samsung Gear VR headset and a compatible Samsung phone or phablet.
“Samsung is proud to spread the Youth Olympic Games spirit both in Lillehammer and around the globe and create new experiences designed to reach youths through our state-of-the-art technology and riveting VR content,” said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.

The first of its kind VR experience is just part of a larger campaign that Samsung is launching for the Games in order to inspire the next generation of athletes.
“We understand that challenges facing today’s youth can be daunting, and we are committed to providing opportunities and programs designed to inspire them along the way to never lose sight of their hopes and dreams,” explained Lee.

Samsung will set up three studios at Lillehammer for the duration of the Games which will let attendees experience various winter sports, such as ski jumping, via virtual reality. Some of the experiences will also use special seats that mimic real-world movements to give what the company calls a ‘4D’ effect.
As well as the Olympics, Virtual Reality headsets and cameras are expected to be common sights at this year’s Super Bowl and at the Six Nations Rugby Tournament. Fans attending both events are going to get the opportunity to watch footage via headsets. However, there are currently no plans to live stream either in the format, meaning that Samsung can claim its activities at this year’s Youth Olympics as a world-first.

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“We are honoured to partner with [Samsung] on this first-of-its-kind VR live streaming offering, just one of the ways that we can ensure boundaries of what are possible for both youths on the ground and those watching remote are constantly being pushed,” said Timo Lumme, International Olympic Committee, Television and Marketing Services, Managing Director.