A virtual reality start-up, Condense Reality, has raised £800,000 in seed capital, including £220k from SFC Capital, one of the UK’s most active seed investors.
The rest of the money is made up of two grants, with smaller investors putting up almost half a million in funds.
Condense Reality has developed a new way to live stream sporting events using hologram-style 3D video technology. Its inventors claim that it has the potential to bring sport and entertainment to life on the tabletop in a way that will complement the on-screen action.
The underlying concept depends on the use of volumetric video which creates a three-dimensional image that different people can view from a variety of angles. Previously though, the application of this technology has been limited by the fact that it required fixed studios with green screens and numerous cameras which need to be precisely calibrated. As a result, it took days to process even a few minutes of content for streaming, and this, by necessity, could not be live.
What Condenses Reality has done is to develop a next-generation solution, harnessing the power of 5G technology, that enables broadcasters and content creators to capture and stream real-time volumetric video, freed from the constraints of a studio, and using far fewer cameras.
The start-up has entered into a strategic partnership with the University of Bristol, The Grid factory, and Salsa Sound to deliver, what they promise, will be a more immersive live viewing experience through both virtual and augmented reality.
This promises to be good news not only for sports and entertainment fans but has also broader implications for other entertainment media, such as online casinos, some of which are already embracing augmented and virtual reality to enhance the player experience.
This Irish online casino guide 2021 provides some examples of operators which are offering such an experience to their customers right now.
In part, the pandemic has provided an impetus to the project. With fans denied access to live events due to government restrictions and lockdowns,
and forced to watch their favorite sports at home, increased emphasis has been placed on the viewing experience.
And, even when spectators are allowed back into grounds and sporting arenas again, there will be a constant demand to use modern technology to make the action ever more real and visceral to the armchair viewer.
It is perhaps, not surprising, that one of the sports they are initially looking at during the pilot phase is boxing.
At the same time, such developments would probably not be possible without the roll-out of 5g. The main advantages that this fifth generation of internet connection brings are much faster transmission speeds, greatly reduced latency, and consequently, a greater capacity when it comes to remote execution – many more devices can be connected in one area, than with the existing 4G networks.
5G officially arrived in the UK in May 2019, although initially only EE and Vodafone offered the service to their customers. However, all four major networks now offer 5G in selected areas, although coverage is still not widespread.
It is expected though to become increasingly available across all parts of the country in the coming months.