Virtual reality was once a pipe dream. For many, the idea of putting on a device and hopping into a brand new world was an experience reserved only for science fiction heroes. Even those that thought the technology would one day become available only dreamed of a distant future where it was accessible by the world's richest consumers.
Not only has technology reached a point where you are now able to enter an augmented reality that creates the sensation of being in another world, but there are several affordable devices that can achieve this effect so it is accessible to all. From PC-based devices such as the Oculus Rift to mobile peripherals like Samsung's Gear VR, it's now easier than ever to experience the world of virtual reality.
From the moment the technology hit the market, sports and virtual reality have proven to be an inseparable couple. Some of the earliest experiments with virtual simulations involved things like fans being transported to their favourite live games. In a similar vein, Samsung is prepared 85 hours of VR Olympic programming for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The most exciting use of this technology allows users to hop into the shoes of athletes and experience the Games in a unique and memorable way. If you live in — or plan to visit —Richmond, British Columbia, consider The ROX: The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval, an interactive attraction that features many interactive VR titles. You can try your hand at several Olympic athletic simulations like kayaking the Chilliwack river or sit-skiing down an impressive mountain. The Olympic Experience is one you surely won’t forget any time soon. Whether you want to know what it's like to take the court during the final game of the NBA Finals or see if you can break the ribbon at the finish line of an Olympic marathon, this new era of VR sports simulators is a dream come true for athletic fans everywhere.
It’s important to remember with these virtual experiences that, unlike traditional video games that simply allow you to control a virtual avatar, these sports simulators instead allow you to actually use your full body and senses in order to complete various challenges. In fact, trainers are already beginning to recognize the benefits of VR in training actual athletes and have begun to implement exciting new regiments that use the freeform nature of these virtual environments to push them to new limits.
For the average sports fan, though, these programs and devices accomplish a much more important task. They allow you to not only better understand the physical requirements that go along with hitting that perfect shot or scoring the game-winning goal, but they also provide children and adults alike the chance to step into a world where they too can be a world class athlete. For those who once wanted to become an Olympic athlete, their wish is no longer a dream – it is a reality.
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