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This Week In VR Sport: Explore the Roots of New Zealand Rugby and Intel’s Olympics Technology

It is the weekend, and that means Sports are on the agenda here at VRFocus. This week Sky Sports are creating a documentary looking at the roots and culture surrounding New Zealand rugby and Intel are going to be providing technology to the Olympics. How does this involve VR? Read on and see.

New Zealand Rugby In 360-Degrees

Sky VR and Sky Sports have teamed up to provide rugby fans with a documentary that takes a look at New Zealand rugby. The New Zealand All Blacks are one of the world’s premier rugby teams, and are known for performing a ‘Haka’ before every game, a Maori cultural tradition that has become tightly intertwined with rugby in New Zealand.

The documentary is titled ‘Finding Haka’ and follows a young Maori man as he explores the culture and traditions around rugby in New Zealand and learns how it relates to his own history. The film is available via the Sky App, which is free to download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

The film’s award-winning VR director, James Hedley, commented: “I wanted to create a powerful and important film that highlights the significance of preserving cultural identity and heritage. The power, the rawness and the eruption of emotion of the Haka is overwhelming; it begged to be explored in VR. I hope the film will resonate with not only sports fans but also detached youths and history fantastic around the world.”

Intel To Provide VR and 360-Degree Technology To Olympics

Intel have struck a deal with the International Olympic Committee to provide telecommunications infrastructure and virtual reality (VR) technology for the Olympics up until 2024. The first event to feature Intel technology will be the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang in South Korea in 2018. Intel will be providing streaming for 360-degree video content, allowing fans to be closer than ever to the events.

Other technology will be gradually rolled out to other Olympic events, such as 5G technology, drone-based ‘light shows’ in a sky above the Olympic venues and 360-degree replay technology to capture footage and let fans relive the most exciting moments of the sporting event.

“We are excited to join the Olympic Movement and integrate Intel’s innovative technologies to advance the Olympic Games experience for fans around the world,” said Intel’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich. “Through this close collaboration with the Olympic family, we will accelerate the adoption of technology for the future of sports on the world’s largest athletic stage.

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