Betting firm trialling immersive VR headset experience to get punters really involved
If you’ve ever fancied riding in the Grand National, the Gold Cup, or even just the 3.45 at Stratford, but lacked the short stature often needed to be a top jockey, then your opportunity could now be here.
Betting firm William Hill has revealed Get In The Race, an immersive new 3D virtual reality experience that will throw you right into the heat of the action, putting you closer than ever to the horse that gets your backing.
Using either Google’s Cardboard VR kit (see below) or an Oculus headset (see main image), users can download the Get In The Race app and put themselves on the back of your chosen horse, and then experience the race live from the jockey’s viewpoint.
The service, developed by WH Labs, the innovation development arm of William Hill, and UNIT9, uses 3D cartoon graphics in lieu of live footage with the system tracking the progress of each horse in the race using GPS technology and updates the placings in real time.
Users also gain a heads-up display, which when activated by looking down, shows the horse’s heart rate, stride length, the distance remaining, and race position to draw out the competitive edge.
Accompanied by live commentary, and with the ability to turn and look at all the other horses in the race, the experience is like nothing you’ll have ever seen in a betting shop or even games console before.
WH Labs says it is currently trialling Get In The Race through live tests at race meetings around the UK, and hopes to get a consumer-facing demo out before the end of the year, with a view towards getting a major launch in time for the start of the racing season in the Spring.
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