14 February 2018

Winter Olympics Pyeongchang 2018- Augmented Reality & Interactive Apps

Posted By Paul Forster
The core of Peel Interactive’s work is creating Emotionally Transforming Digital Experiences, which is also the mainstay of a great Olympics opening ceremony, and Pyeongchang’s effort for the 2018 Winter Olympics wasn’t lacking in that department.
A spectacular combination of themes capturing the past, present and future of South Korea; proudly observing aspects of tradition and mythology, whilst also clearly keen to emphasise technological progression.
They demonstrated this with a pioneering, world record breaking drone display throughout which a murmuration of 1,218 drones formed intricate displays in the sky above the arena, transforming into the shape of the Olympic rings, and at one point, a giant snowboarder.
Logistical problems on the night meant that pre-recorded footage had to be used in place of a live display, meaning the live audience missed out, however for TV viewers the visual impact was very much intact.

Augmented Reality was also utilised in the opening ceremony to display the Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido- a South Korean chart of the consteallations- which encapsulated the main stage in the form of a dome in the night sky.
The great thing about Augmented Reality is that it has the capability to involve many audiences from multiple platforms at once and a criticism of the AR used in the ceremony has been that it was only viewable by the TV audience, meaning once again the live spectators couldn’t appreciate the full spectacle- maybe at future games the technology will be made accessible on mobile, so that all audiences can participate in real time.

If you weren’t lucky enough to bag tickets for the Winter Olympics this time around, you can still get involved via the next best thing- Virtual Reality.
Intel have partnered with various official Olympics broadcasters around the world to produce live 360-degree streaming of the games, accessible through VR headsets and mobile.
In the UK, Eurosport will be undertaking the largest VR broadcasting throughout the games, covering more than 50 hours and a wide range of events. You can even ‘switch seats’ mid-broadcast to watch from different angles- even surpassing the views of the live audience in Pyeongchang!
In addition to 360-degree live VR footage of the opening ceremony, viewers can now access live VR coverage throughout the entirity of the Winter Olympic games.
Virtual Reality has the ability to change the way we view sporting events from home, allowing audiences to explore the scene in real time and making the live spectator experience more accessible, all without having to leave your living room.

The VR live streaming is accessible to those with Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream VR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, as well as on mobile.
To view the 2018 Winter Olympics through VR, download the Winter Olympics Eurosport VR App for iOs or Android, available to viewers across Europe, excluding Germany and Italy.

To enhance the VR viewing experience further, The New York Times and Intel with NBC have separately introduced further Virtual Reality applications to showcase the intricacies of the sports themselves and allowing insights never before seen in traditional media.
The New York Times have produced what they call “A new approach to digital storytelling”, viewable on iPhones and iPads and coming to Android soon, you can view a 360-degree representation of a number of top Olympic athletes, in your own home.
Winter Olympic events can be a speedy affair- blink and you’ll miss it- however this app allows you to slow down the action, view impressive jumps, twists and turns at your own speed and learn more about ahtletes’ technique.
The NBC Olympics VR app features 360-degree short documentary features about individual athletes, just tilt your device to explore. This app also allows you the ability to view medal boards in real time.
NYTimes app available from App Store, NBC Olympics VR app available on iOS and Android, from App Store or Google Play.

Peel Interactive is a Creative Digital Agency providing custom VR and AR solutions for clients across the leisure, tourism, museum, heritage sectors, and more. If you would like to enquire about how Peel Interactive’s services would be of use to you, please contact ian.capper@peelinteractive.co.uk or call 01756 796176.