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Live VR streams, drones and 4K cameras

We haven’t connected cutting edge TV tech to golf much since 3D met the Masters, but Fox is promising a live streaming virtual reality setup this weekend during the US Open tournament. It’s working with NextVR — the same company that brought a Malibu beach sunrise streaming live in 180-degree VR to my house in Michigan — so that viewers can pop into any of five camera rigs around the course and peek around like they were really there. According to Fox, this is believed to be the “first live multi-camera VR broadcast experience in history.” This is still in the demo phase so the easiest way to watch is to actually be at the event in one of the properly equipped hospitality areas, or at a Fox Sports location in New York, Vancouver or LA. Even if you can’t catch the live feed, NextVR will have the video ready for its portal that is coming to the Oculus Rift and Gear VR headsets.

Other than virtual reality, Fox will also make use of flying drone cams to cover the event, cameras around the tee box, and microphones embedded in the bottom of every hole around the course. There’s a camera-equipped RC car to provide ground level shots, as well as high frame rate cameras and 4K cameras to provide a better look at each swing.

Having experienced it myself, the virtual reality stream in 3D and high-res video should provide a feeling of being at the course like no other broadcast can. We’re still not to the point where this kind of thing is widely available, but if you need a reason other than gaming to keep an eye on what the likes of Oculus, Samsung, Google and Valve are working on, events like sports are definitely a good one.

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