Samsung Wows Rugby Fans with its Virtual Reality Headsets

by: Antony Hampel

In many ways, sport is the ideal catalyst for virtual reality (VR) technologies. It is the perfect way to show off exactly what a ground breaking new VR device can do, because it involves not just movement, but very precise movement. Think about it. Playing rugby or football in virtual reality is dynamic and fast paced, but it also needs to be controllable.

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These two qualities are what VR makers are trying to prove their technology can offer. It is what Samsung is keen to convince its users of; that is why the company held a unique ‘VR’ rugby event on the 12th of March.

The ‘School of Rugby’ event was launched to coincide with the big England V Wales match. It was held at Twickenham Stadium and gave sports fans, young and old, the chance to grab a VR headset and see what all the fuss is about. This is really important not just for the brand, but also for virtual reality technology in general.

It is still a very new and emerging industry, so not many people have had a chance to experience it, even though the media is constantly talking about it. By bringing VR to the fans, Samsung is getting its foot in the door early and cementing its reputation as a brand known for providing accessible tech.

The Six Nations ‘Rugby School’ campaign saw visitors step inside a special pop up VR studio. They were given Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Gear VR headsets and challenged to take on rugby stars, Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio.

For a handful of lucky fans, the experience got even better. Dallaglio and Johnson actually surprised some of the players by turning up, in person, while they were using the VR headsets. So, they went straight from playing a virtual game of rugby with the two to shaking hands with them for real.

Once again, this was a really clever move from Samsung, because it underscored the ethos and the aim of the technology. For most people, meeting their favourite rugby stars in person will only ever be a dream. However, with Samsung VR headsets, they can have the next best thing. You can slip on a headset, start a game, and be chatting with your heroes in no time.

The event was a big success for Samsung and it gave fans a real sense of what VR technology can do. This is important, because it is on its way to the commercial market at a rapid rate. In fact, it is already available. The hope is that, in a couple of years, it will become affordable enough for lots of families to have a VR headset in their home.

by: Antony Hampel, Event Planner of Alive Events Agency