Formula 1 and Tata Communications conducted a test of live 360-degree video at the Singapore Grand Prix over the weekend.
The test was to show how the F1 racing experience could be augmented for fans worldwide by enabling them to experience the action in and around the circuit almost as if they were there.
The proof-of-concept by Tata Communications and Formula 1 is the first time the live 360-degree video feeds and TV broadcast have been shown in complete sync.
Two 360-degree cameras were used at the Singapore race, one trackside and the other in the paddock. Fans were then able to experience both areas through a VR-like environment via the official F1 app.
“We’ve done this test to show how a fan could watch Lewis, Sebastian or any other drivers coming into the pits on TV, grab their tablet and get a second, completely in sync 360-degree view of everything going on around him while he is there - not 30 seconds after he has driven off!” said John Morrison, chief technical officer, Formula 1.
“In a sport like F1 where every millisecond matters, there are huge opportunities to empower fans to take control of key Grand Prix moments and create their unique, personalised race experiences through the powerful combination of live TV and 360-degree video.”
“This proof of concept shows the potential of live 360-degree video to augment the F1 TV viewing experience and bring VR mainstream in live sports and entertainment,” added Mehul Kapadia, managing director of Tata Communications’ F1 Business.
“Eliminating the delay in 360-degree video means that, for the first time, it’s possible to offer fans truly live 360-degree video experiences on a global scale. This will enable sports and entertainment organisations to engage with their audiences in new ways and generate new revenue streams."