Google WorldSense is the Key to VR Sports

Keith Nelson, Jr, writing for Digital Trends about Google’s forthcoming VR hardware and NextVR’s virtual reality basketball broadcasts:

NextVR thinks Google’s standalone headset will bring more court side movements to mobile VR. “For instance, you are watching our center court camera feed and something obstructs the camera like a ref stands in front of the camera, you can physically move your body and look around it,” Cole said. That is thanks to Google’s WorldSense technology, which will allow its headset to track your motions without external sensors. The motion tracking is known as “six degrees of freedom” (6DOF) as you are able to move up, down, left, right, backwards, and forward in a 3D space.

According to Nelson, NextVR CEO David Cole is high on Qualcomm’s next-gen cell phone chip, too:

“[Qualcomm] 835 is purpose built and beyond to do this computation without totally burning up the battery of the device.” That chip is handling so much it allows for the device to do other things which “lets you watch a full basketball game without killing your battery,” Cole said.

I’m a huge basketball fan. I’ve lived in Oakland for 15 years. Put those things together and I was super excited to hear about NextVR’s immersive highlight packages of the Warriors winning the NBA Finals a few weeks ago.

I checked out some of the NCAA’s March Madness VR content awhile back. It was cool as a novelty, but not really watchable. Still, the chance to relive KD and Steph winning their first title together in VR? I was all in!

Too bad I couldn’t find the NextVR app in the Oculus Store on my Galaxy S6 Gear VR setup. Also too bad that NextVR’s customer support team dropped our Twitter DM conversation before they’d resolved my query. Ah, well, there’s always that Qualcomm 835 to look forward to…

(Seriously, being able to move around the ref to get a better view of the action sounds like the perfect use of VR!)