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Applying immersive technology to live events

Why Would We Need Immersive Technology at Live Events?

Our world has drastically changed over the past two decades. Right now, millions of people have access to smart devices and everything that can be recorded gets recorded. And nothing is more tempting to record than a live event, be it a concert, a royal wedding, a speech or a performance piece. However, not too many people can be present at live events, for many reasons. This issue is where immersive technology helps.

Let’s take sports as one live event example. A stadium can only take a limited number of spectators. In addition, tickets can be expensive, so the fans that can’t afford them are unable to attend. But technology was always there to “solve” these issues. With the advent of radio and television, and especially the internet, we became able to follow events around the world as they were happening. Immersive technology is just one more giant step in improving this ability,

Where and How Can We Use It?

Competitive sports are the most active and lucrative market for live events. For instance, the last year’s FIFA World Cup was watched, to some extent, by nearly 3.4 billion people. That’s close to half of the world’s population! Furthermore, that’s just associative football (or soccer); basketball, football, and baseball have tens of millions of viewers in the USA alone. And let’s not forget other events such as the Olympics, or even other sports like tennis, volleyball, handball, water polo, gymnastics, cycling, boxing, wrestling or even extreme sports. And that’s not even counting events such as darts, billiards, and chess, or the ever-growing e-sports market.

Judging by the sheer volume of different sporting events, immersive technology would have a steady source of revenue. But there are other live events that regularly garner lots of views. Royal weddings, for example, can attract a lot of attention. The wedding of Prince Harry and American-born Lady Meghan was watched by 1.9 billion people worldwide. Then there are political events, such as live debates, speeches, and public addresses. A user from San Diego can tune into a live speech of President Trump in Washington with the help of immersive technology.

Several User Bases

When it comes to political and social events, there is no single defined market. After all, anyone can enjoy a live event or choose to ignore it. But when it comes to sports, we actually do have the numbers. For example, in 2016 there were roughly 92 million subscribers of ESPN. That’s 92 million AR/VR headsets used right there. Even if just one percent of these viewers purchase an AR/VR product, that’s still a massive profit for the developers.

However, that’s just the American audience. If marketed properly, immersive technology can reach a worldwide user base. That way a person from Nebraska would enjoy the same live event as the person in Uganda or Sri Lanka.

But there are downsides to using AR/VR headsets for this purpose. Two major setbacks with this tech are the price and the lack of socialization. After all, some spectators go to live events to meet and talk to likeminded individuals. With AR/VR tech, that option simply isn’t there.

Projected Revenue

By 2025, immersive technology can turn a solid profit of $4.1 billion. This number takes into account the lowest number of live events seen per person, as well as offering a lower price than the admission fee. For instance, a boxing event ticket might cost anywhere up to $100. But with an AR or VR headset, we can pay almost 90% less than that. 

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