VR will bring the Daytona 500 right to your eyeballs

by: John DyeFebruary 17, 2016
USArmyTeamOverWallDaytona500.jpg: The U.S. Army Racing Team crew springs into position as driver Ryan Newman pulls the No. 39 Chevrolet into their pit after Aric Almirola's spin brings out the first caution in the 2009 Daytona 500 on Feb. 15 at Daytona International Speedway. Newman finished 36th in the 51st running of The Great American Race. Photo by Tim Hipps, Army News Service

Photo by Tim Hipps, Army News Service

Racing fans rejoice, because Fox Sports wants to put you right in the shoes of the pit crew at the Daytona 500 in 2016. This recent announcement is part of a string of mainstream VR initiatives that are driving virtual reality tech into the consumer market. NextVR signed a five-year contract with the network to bring a variety of streaming sporting events right to your living room, and right at the top of this list is the Daytona 500.

This event looks like it’s going to be a Gear VR exclusive, so if you’re an owner of the popular headset and a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone, then you’ll be able to watch the big race from a variety of locations including the stands, the starting line, the pit lane, and the middle of the infield. The VR stream will also toss in pop-up graphics to keep you up to date on what’s happening on the track, and Fox Sports will be providing dedicated audio commentary for Gear VR wearers.

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Previously, Fox and NextVR joined forces to showcase a professional boxing event in VR, This five-year contract is a pretty big deal for the VR startup, which got their chops streaming NBA games and the democratic presidential debates last fall. Now they are looking to establish itself as the go-to brand for VR streaming sporting events. The Daytona 500 will be free to view through this service and will go live at 1pm ET on Sunday, February 21st. If you’re a racing fan or even just a VR enthusiast, you’re going to want to check it out.

Many non-Samsung users are hoping that NextVR will expand their app’s development to support other wearable tech like Google Cardboard. For now, however, the company is enjoying an exclusive arrangement with Samsung, and there’s no word as to whether that will change in the future.

What are your thoughts regarding the VR stream of the Daytona 500 and the ongoing mainstreamification of VR? Let us know if you’ll be tuning in to this and future sporting events in the comments below!

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