Super Bowl 50 is mere days away, and while tickets are nearly impossible to pay for, there is a way for you to experience what it's like to be a player on the gridiron without putting on pads.
Jaunt VR, perhaps best known for its Paul McCartney VR concert footage, has a new football demo at the interactive NFL Experience in San Francisco. Called the NFL Virtual Reality Experience, I tried it out on a Samsung Gear VR equipped with a Galaxy S6.
I found the fit to be comfortable if a little steamy after a while in the human-filled expanse of the Moscone Center. Jaunt VR also had a demo available on the Oculus Rift.
As the stadium lights came on, realistic-looking players ran onto the field and the roar of the crowd filled my Bose headphones, I could feel myself smiling. The level of detail was precise and the colors of the uniforms and grass popped on the screen. I was even taken inside the locker room after the game, complete with half-naked linebackers.
My only gripe with the experience was the resolution. It wasn't terrible, but compared to another Gear VR demo I tried (which I'll have a video of shortly), it just wasn't crisp enough to be fully immersive. There was also the slightest lag that if I moved my head too quickly, I began to feel a little woozy. But, if I took it slow, my stomach went back down my throat.
Did I feel like a player on the field? More like a spectator lucky enough to get a pass, watching the action from a slightly higher POV than the actual players, but that's the point. As Miles Perkins, VP of marketing communications at Jaunt VR explained, the experience is like a ticket to a game you just can't buy.
For now, you can only try the NFL Virtual Reality Experience for yourself at the Super Bowl event, though Jaunt VR may release it more widely in the future. For now, the company has a catalog of experiences available on its Android and iOS apps.