A professional skier battled against two online gamers in the world’s first interactive mixed reality downhill ski race, using technology pioneered by European researchers...and lost!
Hitting speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour, Lukas Seyfried hurtled down the world cup ski course in Schladming, Austria, in a bid to reach the finish line before his two competitors – virtual reality gamers based in Thessaloniki and Munich.
The racers used a 3D tele-immersion platform and wore new virtual reality technology that allowed them to compete against each other by racing down the same ski slope at the same time. Despite the skier on the real slope picking up an early win in the first race, the two online gamers went on to battle back and win the successive races, with the racer in Greece gaining the lead and finishing with the best overall time.
The competitors were equipped with wearable immersive devices that allowed them to interact in real-time and share their experience in a 3D virtual environment delivered over the Internet. The professional skier wore Smart Ski Goggles with a heads up display that allowed them to see the virtual world alongside the real slope. The indoor competitors were fully immersed in a virtual world using Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset for 3D gaming. By using advanced sensor and gaming technologies to create and manipulate 3D information in real-time, the platform delivered truly interactive experiences closely linked to the real world activity of skiing next to a professional skier
The four-stage race was broadcast live during the two days 14th Wearable Technologies Conference, in Munich, at the beginning of February. The race was a huge success and demonstrated that mixed reality can deliver unique and truly exciting experiences.
According to project coordinator Marco Conte, at Collaborative Engineering in Italy, this innovative technology will open up the opportunity for new types of live games that combine digital and real interaction in many different competitive sports. 3D LIVE experiences have been developed for Golf, Jogging and now skiing, transforming the way people play, compete and socialise.
The consortium has worked on the 3D LIVE project to deliver a mixed reality, immersive 3D platform where users can experience, feel and interact with real environments and distant users in real-time.
I will be pitching 3D Live in the Perfect Pitch session on 25 March at Net Futures. Don't miss it!
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Watch 3D Live technology on BBC News and BBC Click!
Watch the final race of the 2 day ski competition!
This is a guest blog post written by Michael Boniface, Project Technical Lead, University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre
Michael Boniface, Project Technical Lead, University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre
Tel: +44 23 8059 8866
Marco Conte, Project Coordinator, Collaborative Engineering
Tel : +39 0622 595 356