Re-Imagining Live Entertainment in VR: One Year Later

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Live Entertainment

During Virtual Reality Strategy (VRS) Conference 2016, Tracy Swedlow, CEO of TMRW Corp, moderated a panel with Geoff Brim, VP of B2B innovation & architecture at Deutsche Telekom, Tom Impallomeni, CEO of Virtually Live, and Facundo Diaz, CEO of VRTIFY, tackling the topic of live VR entertainment. The panel focused on sports, music, and other out-of-home live entertainment and how VR technologies could be applied to enhance the live event experience.

The executives were enthusiastic on the big picture prospects of live VR, but also realistic about the implications of a new, hyper-growth technology on entertainment verticals. The panel agreed that VR/AR could offer rights holders a new way to engage consumers around live broadcasts. However, the panelists said the current first-generation headsets require several improvements in order for the medium to reach its full potential. Impallomeni said current headsets are often referred to as too bulky and uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time – in addition to missing the mark on making a fashion statement. Diaz emphasized the opportunity for live VR with a slimmer ‘more glasses-like’ headset model, which would encourage more consumers to feel comfortable using headsets in a public setting. The panel agreed that while platforms like Google Daydream and PlayStation VR have launched commercially and a slew of peripheral upgrades have been released for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the changes have focused on strengthening the technology, leaving the core nearly untouched.

Brim encouraged attendees to recognize that’s not all that will have to change. “The implications of having a very strong, dependable, and fast internet connection for the transmission and enjoyment of live events in VR are clear and tangible,” he said. Users watching sports in real time would be turned off very quickly from lag or lost signal.


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