The partnership marks the first time that PlayStation’s VR headset, released in October, has been used outside of gaming and builds on ATP Media’s earlier experiments with virtual reality broadcasting.
Fans attending the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London this week can try the VR experience which features a combination of real court images, TV match coverage and a virtual studio.
Accessible on the PlayStation 4, the VR experience utilises both headset tracking technology and physical controller interaction to present users with a reactive and customisable environment, allowing them to view and interact with stats.
This includes the ability to pull up Hawk-Eye throughout the match as well as social media streams from MyATP, the ATP’s social media platform. Users also have the option to switch from a broadcast studio view to courtside for a closer look at the action.
“We wanted to replicate the feeling of being there and create an augmented experience that lets fans engage and interact with the finals on screen in a way they never could before,” said Shane Warden, ATP Media’s director of technology and broadcast.
He added: “PlayStation VR is an incredible product and we knew it would help us to achieve this goal thanks to its simple to use and intuitive operation.”
Stuart Watts, ATP Media chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted to be demonstrating our continued commitment in advancing media and technology. We have created not only the potential for an exciting complimentary product for broadcasters but one that can easily be delivered on-venue at fan and sponsor activation sites.”
Mark Grinyer from Sony Professional Solutions Europe’s sports team said: “It is great to be working with ATP, ATP Media and Infosys to push the envelope of immersive fan experiences. We have worked hard to create a platform which can deliver the exciting vision of our partners.”
The partnership is between ATP, ATP Media, Infosys (the Global Technology Services Partner of the ATP World Tour) and Sony Professional Solutions Europe. While there is no confirmation that the PlayStation VR experience will become a permanent offering, it continues ATP Media's strategy of utilising new technologies to enhance its broadcast capabilities. This includes its earlier work with LiveLike VR and the revamped TennisTV.