Look out, the future is arriving quickly.
According to TechCrunch, NBC will produce 85 hours of virtual reality content during this summer’s Olympic Games, in partnership with Samsung.
The plan revolves around Gear VR — exclusively, in fact. Owners of Samsung’s headset (and compatible Galaxy phones, naturally) will get access to 85 hours of VR content, accessible through the NBC Sports app. The list includes the opening and closing ceremonies and a decent cross-section of sports, including men’s basketball, track and field, gymnastics, boxing, beach volleyball, fencing and diving.
This sounds pretty awesome, especially given what it seems to portend for the future. For now, virtual reality will be available for a fraction of Olympic coverage and only through Samsung products, but it’s easy to imagine a future where this kind of thing is universally accessible.
To this point, virtual reality’s impact on sports has mostly come from the team end, not the consumer end, with college football programs like Stanford, Michigan and USC using the technology to prepare players and woo recruits, MLB teams are using it to simulate at-bats, and the NFL is even using it to combat racism and sexism.
For years virtual reality has been a favorite fantasy of cartoon shows and sci-fi novels, and it’s pretty sweet that it not not exists but also is now coming to our living rooms.