It has been announced by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) that they will be filming Euro 2016 Finals matches in virtual reality (VR). Taking place in France beginning June 10, the tournament will bring together 24 of the best football teams in Europe, including Germany, England, Portugal and Spain.
The Use of Nokia OZO VR Cameras
According to reports, UEFA will be using dozens of Nokia OZO cameras to shoot 360-degree videos inside the stadiums, though the association is not yet clear about its exact plans with the footage. There will be 8-lens, 8-microphone, football-shaped cameras placed inside the stadiums, including those in over-pitch camera positions, as well as inside the players’ tunnels, dressing rooms and managerial press conference rooms.
This technology was already tested during the semi-finals matches of the Champions League, which involved pre-recorded footage that are said to appear on certain websites. For Euro 2016, Nokia announced that it will be the first time the cameras will broadcast live footage. Aside from this, the OZO cameras are set to be used to shoot footage of the Champions League finals match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid later this month. Other matches will also get the same VR treatment, including those of Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
YouTube As the Chosen Broadcast Channel
Unfortunately, the technology is yet to be developed for the VR experience to be enjoyed by armchair football fans. As of the moment, UEFA has considered launching a specialist channel on YouTube to show the footage. With it, people will be able to watch the content shot at Euro 2016. Nothing has been set in stone right now, where the tournament’s VR images will only be broadcast live to UEFA executives as part of the ongoing tests.
Head of UEFA TV, Bernard Ross, said, “These demonstrations continue to put us at the forefront of broadcast technological innovation. It’s UEFA’s goal that one day the watching fan will be able to watch a match through immersive virtual reality. They will experience the game as if they are there in the stadium. This demonstration represents the first step towards completing that goal.” For now, the tests are done to try and achieve the eventual goal of making games available for football fans to watch live in VR
The Euro 2016 is set to become the first major football tournament to largely use VR technology, and fans are hoping that UEFA does not disappoint by sharing its new creations with everyone on the web.