Technology

William Hill takes a gamble on virtual reality technology

October 5, 2015

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Technology

William Hill takes a gamble on virtual reality technology

October 5, 2015

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A new and exciting 3D horse racing experience could well be on its way, thanks to ‘Get In The Race’, a virtual reality experience developed by bookmaker, William Hill.

When betting on horses in a shop, online or on mobile, the excitement factor isn’t the same as when you are at the racetrack but those days could be numbered. With ‘Get In The Race’, after betting on a race, fans can use a virtual reality headset to experience the action in real-time from the jockey’s perspective, the footage being in 3D alongside the race commentary.

Each horse will be equipped with a GPS monitor to track their position around the course. Data captured from the GPS monitor will be converted into a visual 3D, enabling the user to experience the race from the jockey’s point of view.

William Hill showcased their first product at their lab in Shoreditch, London, using Oculus Rift. The first race was a 3D mock-up of Kempton Park racecourse and the bookmakers collected the data during a training race at the course.

Director of Innovation at William Hill, Crispin Nieboer said: “Currently you place a bet and not much happens between that and the outcome. We want to bring customers closer to the sporting action, to experience the thrill of the ride.”

The new virtual reality technology is currently not available on the market yet and the bookmakers are planning to roll out the technology once they add more courses to their portfolio. William Hill are also planning to add live races.

Nieboer added: “You could be at Goodwood or Cheltenham, and see that there’s a massive queue to get to a race – so you’re only going to see the last few furlongs. So you might decide to stay where you are – and you and your friend can put on your goggles, and see where your horses are in the race.”

Written by Matthew Thoma

Matthew Thoma

Matthew is a Content Editor at Future Sport, specialising in sports business, marketing and emerging technologies.

Matthew Thoma

Matthew is a Content Editor at Future Sport, specialising in sports business, marketing and emerging technologies.