Every sport has something that is sacred to its fans, for tennis fans it’s being at the centre court at Wimbledon, for Formula One fan’s it’s the glamour of Monaco and for GAA fan’s especially Dublin ones, its watching Dublin from the hallowed turf of Hill 16 in Croke Park. Walking down Clonliffe Road, on a Sunday afternoon to be amongst the 13,000 fans in Hill 16, watching Dublin play is a feeling that was virtually impossible to recreate until now.
I was fortunate enough yesterday to be at Facebook’s Dublin office to attend the launch of something incredible that AIB, has created as part of its summer ‘Club Fuels County’ campaign. They have created the first GAA 360 video which fans can view on YouTube and Facebook with a focus on bringing Hill 16 to life in a fresh unique way. I got to see it firsthand via Oculus Rift and I was blown away, as I was put right in the heart of the story of the video, which was shot in Ambisonic sound for a wholly immersive experience.
People like to be told a story and the one in this video is one that most Dublin GAA fans will relate to as It tells you what it means to support your team. Shown through the eyes of former Dublin Footballer and Ballymun Kickhams star, Alan Hubbard, it was filmed in collaboration with Ballymun Kickhams and also at Dublin’s Quarter-Final victory against Donegal. I was blown away at how I was so quickly and easily immersed in the walk down Clonliffe Road, entering Hill 16 and chanting with the fans who were thereA few years ago Sky Sports tried the gimmick of broadcasting Premier League football matches in 3D, a fad that never caught on, but imagine if you are given a variety of seats that you can view a live match from, transporting you into the stadium just like in the AIB GAA video. You could have people all over the world totally immersed in a virtual world that is so realistic that you could easily forget you are not in the stadium.
One important factor that can affect sporting events is the weather, and if you prefer to stay and warm and dry, that won’t be an issue as you will be able to watch the game in a warm environment. As advances in technology will make it cheaper and easier to broadcast events with a 360 view, it makes you wonder how long will we have to wait before Brave New Worlds Feelies becomes a reality.