O2 unveils new virtual reality experiences

Mobile network provider O2 has unveiled two new virtual reality (VR) experiences, which will put fans at the centre of the action.

O2 unveils new virtual reality experiences
O2 unveils new virtual reality experiences

The two new experiences will be based around music and sport, and will allow O2 customers to fully immerse themselves in the action. The technology will work on VR platforms including Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

O2 customers will be able to use the technology to virtually transport themselves to the heart of an O2 Academy music venue and become either a person in the audience, or a member of the band performing. Users will be able to swap between the music fan and band perspectives, experiencing first-hand how the excitement builds both in front of and behind the stage.

The experience will be the first time an O2 Academy venue has given 360 degree ‘behind the scenes’ access, with the band point-of-view showcasing how musicians build up to an event. Those taking part in the experience will be able to follow the band from the tour bus, all the way until the moment they walk on to the stage.

A second VR experience will allow O2 customers to immerse themselves in a world of England Rugby. Gamers will have the chance to compete against the best the nation offers in rugby talent, as they battle it out against interactive CGI characters. The fully interactive experience uses Xsense motion capture to provide accurate in-game player movement, taking cues from England Rugby players’ weight, mass and average speeds to ensure their character’s movements are as realistic as possible.

Gareth Griffiths, head of sponsorship at O2, said: "We believe in live, and using the latest VR technology we can showcase our live experiences to O2 customers in our stores across the country. Through a combination of world first CGI characters and unique interactive gameplay, each experience has been designed to give the user unprecedented access to O2 Academy venues, The O2 and our relationship with the England Rugby team. We’re excited to roll our new virtual reality into O2 stores nationwide, Twickenham Stadium on match days and The O2."

Paul Gustard, defence coach at England Rugby, said: "We really enjoyed working in partnership with O2 to develop this unique virtual reality experience. It’s the only game out there that has had input from England Rugby to create a great experience for fans. I hope the experience gives rugby fans and novices alike an insight in to the way we train and the amount of hard work that is involved in being an International rugby player."

Earlier this month, O2 announced a focus on live experiences as part of its #FollowTheRabbit campaign. The mobile network provider also extended its partnership with AEG in February, in a bid to develop fab experiences.

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