Tata and Formula 1 Complete World First Live 360° Video Trial

This week’s Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit wasn’t just a victory for Lewis Hamilton.

A proof-of-concept test conducted by Tata Communications in conjunction with Formula 1 has demonstrated how races can be viewed in VR, with full 360° video—totally, 100% live.

Previous experiments of this nature have been subject to delays of up to 30 seconds between live feeds and 360° video. The Singapore test marks the first occasion where both streams have been operating in sync.

Two 360° cameras at the trackside provided images for the stream. Viewers were able to access a 360° feed of the action from the paddock prior to the race, or as drivers pulled in to the pits, all in real time.

Formula 1 chief technical officer John Morrison, commented:

“We’ve done this test to show how a fan could watch Lewis, Sebastian or any other drivers coming into the pits on TV, grab their tablet and get a second, completely in sync 360° view of everything going on around him while he is there – not 30 seconds after he has driven off.

In a sport like F1, where every millisecond matters, there are huge opportunities to empower fans to take control of key Grand Prix moments and create their unique, personalised race experiences through the powerful combination of live TV and 360° video”.

Analyst Comment

In our house, we often have several streams running as we have more than one soccer fan and three teams being supported. Given internet audio streams, broadcast radio and DAB as well as text updates, the time of arrival of information often gets confused. Often, a text update on a phone will signal a goal some seconds before the audio. Of course, this might be solvable by technology (including new standards from Wi-fi that allow very accurate timing), but that would mean delaying everything and would not help with LTE content. It looks as though we may just have to live with these lags. (BR)