Some things in tech just don’t take off no matter how exciting they seem. 3D TV, for instance, was supposed to revolutionise home entertainment but wasn’t picked up by broadcasters and never really caught the public’s imagination.
On the other hand, the ultra-high definition capabilities of 4K UHD – although it’s still in the early stages with only the likes of BT Sport Ultra HD and Netflix offering 4K content – is already showing promise.
But technology waits for no-one and the industry is already looking beyond high-definition imagery to find the next big thing. Much of the UK’s cutting-edge technology is born in Adastral Park which is currently celebrating Innovation Week. The park is a science campus near Ipswich and is home to big names including BT as well as many smaller start-ups.
Among the technology being tested is virtual reality. VR in itself is already very fresh but there’s a real appetite for it among the public as we saw during the UEFA Champions League final which could be viewed using an existing smartphone and a Google Cardboard VR headset.
In a bid to take the technology one step further, VR could one day be perfect for those interested in all the stats too.
BT is testing such a technology which would not only show you the match in 360-degree video but also display information panels – or cards – on screen. Using the VR headset’s controller you can place the information and stat cards anywhere you like in your view and decide what they show, from details about a player’s previous performance to possession stats. It’s an alternative take on the match for those who want to not only feel closer to the game but also want to interact a bit more.
For those more interested in the spirit of football and capturing as much of the action as it unfolds, there’s another solution in testing that could be on the horizon for pub-goers.
Viewers can immerse themselves in the game using a multiscreen platform which shows multiple feeds from games. The action on the field remains the focus on the main screen, but a second screen shows the crowd reaction while a third tracks the manager. You can watch how the manager reacts to a goal instantly and see them contemplating a substitution before it’s officially announced, adding to the drama and pace and giving a glimpse of thingsyou might only otherwise see if you were in the stadium.
Added to this, you can change the TV’s audio feed for an alternative such as BBC Radio if you prefer their style of commentary, and Tweets are shown along the bottom of the screen for the latest reaction from viewers at home and at the ground.