Star India’s online streaming platform Hotstar will be streaming the upcoming Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad from 7-22nd October in stereoscopic 3D virtual reality, reports IndianTelevision.
Users can use the feature with the help of Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard or even the newer Daydream headsets to get a panoramic view of the game and the stadium using either Android or iOS handsets. The app will use the phone gyroscope to detect head movement to enable tracking the direction in which the user is looking automatically.
For enabling VR, Hotstar will shoot the games in stereoscopic 3D using two camera pods, with 12 cameras per pod, in addition to standard camera setups for 2D viewing of the game. Users without headsets can also take advantage of the new method of shooting by watching the stream in panoramic (scrollable) 2D. For switching to a 3D view, users need to select the Google Cardboard feature in Hotstar’s app.
Note that Hotstar mentions it has an app on the Oculus Store as well, which users can use with Gear VR for viewing 3D content. While the company does not explicitly mention it, this should make it compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset as well, and possibly the HTC Vive too.
Cricket events: In December last year, Star India signed a deal for media rights for all ICC events which take place between 2016 and 2023. By extension, Hotstar will exclusively live stream ICC events and provide other digital clips through the app. Star might eventually look to bring VR to cricket as well, if its current initiative proves popular enough. However, this will be a significantly more difficult project, as cricket grounds are huge as compared to kabbadi grounds, and installing multiple large 12-faced cameras in the middle of the ground is hardly a practical option.