Intel’s VR Broadcast of the 2018 Winter Olympics is a Logistical Challenge

Most people know Intel will be bringing live coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics to VR headset owners later this year. The company took the time to explain to the masses how this will be achieved. Offering a live broadcast in virtual reality is one thing, but getting the different camera angles right is something else entirely. It is evident Intel will become a mobile production powerhouse during these Olympics. For the technology giant, it is by far one of the bigger undertakings in company history.

Intel’s Attempt to Broadcast The Winter Olympics in VR

In the world of virtual reality, live broadcasts are somewhat of a rarity. Other than a few sports events or concerts in specific countries, no one has ever attempted to do something major. Intel is certainly raising the bar in this regard with their coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics. As one would expect, such an undertaking involves dozens of staffers to ensure the experience is optimal and doesn’t get interrupted. More specifically, there will be 30 events broadcasted in virtual reality to offer this mix of live and VOD VR content.

To ensure all of this content is recorded properly, Intel will use two-dozen 180-degree cameras. Three to six cameras are dedicated to each live event, which will give viewers multiple camera angles to choose from. It will all come down to setting up the cameras in the right position. For downhill skiing, for example, we will see two views at key turns on the course. It will be interesting to see how this will play out for other sports during this multi-week event.

Moreover, Intel will also produce something known as VR Cast. This venture relies on switching back and forth between 180-degree panoramic and stereoscopic camera views. For the directors, this will provide additional footage to stitch together an automated story. It will be somewhat similar to regular TV broadcasts in this regard, but with a slightly different twist. Moreover, VR viewers will also have access to real-time statistics, a leaderboard, post-event results, et cetera. Intel is definitely going all-in for this particular venture

Perhaps the most appealing part of this venture is how VR users will get a birds-eye view of all of the venues. This allows them to switch between specific events from within the VR broadcast interface. Whether or not there will be a big interest in this new technology, remains to be determined. Broadcasting the 2018 Winter Olympics is certainly an interesting venture, but it is unclear how many people will wear a VR headset for something they can watch on regular TV as well. Someone has to take the plunge in this regard, though, and Intel seems more than willing to do exactly that.

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