Streaming sports to virtual reality headgear claims to offer the next best experience to being present at the event, but what’s so good about not being able to chat with fans and friends next to you?
The live social experience is what VR producers and tech developers are trying to crack. New York-headquartered firm LiveLike said it put social into its blueprint from the get-go and is introducing live sharing capabilities this year.
“When you put on a headset and launch our app then immediately around you is the CG VIP suite,” explained Andre Lorenceau, founder and CEO.
“On the right or left of the couch is an avatar of a person – which in the early stages of this development will be a representation of a person. It will be just head and shoulders, and eventually hands, but it’s not intended to be hyper-real.”
What will enhance the feeling of being there with friends is localised audio. “If you’re watching a game and your friends are talking to you [via a head mounted device mic] it will sound as if they are a couple of feet away on your right,” Lorenceau explained. “If you turn, you will see them and they will sound like they are in front of you. The sound of someone talking next to you changes according to where you are looking and this makes an extremely powerful feeling of being present with someone.”
One issue is to synchronise the live video stream of the game with the audio component of ‘friends’ speaking. “We are fixing these problems,” Lorenceau added.