10000 Google Cardboard headsets handed out to fans during the Patriots’ practice

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10,000 Google Cardboard headsets handed out to fans during the Patriots’ practice.

Football fanatics can now see what it’s like to be on the field during a New England Patriots practice using virtual reality. Visa and Bank of America today announced that they’re giving away 10,000 Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. As Google’s low cost virtual reality initiative Cardboard has gained more and more attention outside of the hardcore VR enthusiast community, marketing departments across the globe seem to be waking up to the potential promise of immersive experiences for consumers. Some 10,000 people attending the Patriots’ game on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles received customized Cardboard viewers, Tech Crunch reports. Fans are taken, virtually, from the training facility to the gridiron, where they get a look at what goes on during training day, giving them a chance to “Travel Inside the Game.” The headsets were first made available during the Patriots’ FanZone pregame activities.

This is yet another Cardboard giveaway meant to bring virtual reality front and center to the types of folks who could eventually be converted into VR believers. The good news is that if you’ve always wanted to experience what it would be like to take part in a professional practice session, now you can, sort of. But even if people can’t pick up one of the headsets, or if they don’t have an iOS or Android smartphone that supports Cardboard, they can still watch the (360-degree YouTube-based) video online, by visiting visa.com/bofa360. This tech from Strivr Labs in Silicon Valley has been a popular training tools for numerous NFL teams, including the Patriots, Cowboys, Jets, Vikings, and 49ers. Earlier this year, the Wizards, along with the Caps and Mystics, became respectively the first NBA, NHL, and WNBA teams to sign partnerships with Strivr.

Further, there will be limited edition Google Cardboard viewers, another popular trend, made available to fans visiting today’s Pre-Game (located in Gillette Stadium Parking Lot 4A) and Gillette Stadium’s concourse (outside of Section 102 and 103) any time after kickoff. This means that you won’t just be sitting at the sidelines watching them practice, but the virtual reality experience should give you the feeling that you’re actually there in person. Both iOS and Android users with a Cardboard viewer can get an up-close view of the team going through a number of fast-paced drills, and see what the life an an elite NFL team is like.

While the 360 degree video isn’t “true VR” it is that taste of a moment that can grab you for hours and make you forget where you are that I’ve been talking about. The brands dipping their toes in VR make it seem a little “faddish” but until enough people experience some type of immersive experience, virtual reality is destined to be a thing for gamers. This giveaway is also going a long way toward bringing the VR experience to everyone beyond the hardcore gamers and techies who have been following these innovations from the beginning.

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