The NCAA Tournament will broadcast six games in virtual reality—but you'll need a ticket to view the goods.
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NCAA VR For rabid college basketball fans (and trust us, we know you exist) getting court side seats to any of the NCAA Tournament games is a dream—one that's just not going to come true. Unless, that is, you have a Samsung Gear VR or Oculus headset. The NCAA is launching the NCAA March Madness Live VR app through the Oculus store, (doesn't that just roll off the tongue) which will showcase six match-ups starting with the Sweet 16 games played in San Jose, Ca. plus the Final Four and Championship game that's set for Phoenix.
The app is free. (Of course.) And you'll get stats, bracket standings and even video highlights from the game. But the deluxe content? That'll cost you. There are two premium tickets: Gold and Silver. The former is priced at $2.99 or $7.99 for all six games and plants you visually court side, with live coverage and multiple camera views. The later costs just $1.99 a game—and has just one camera angle. (Oh, the torture.) Virtual reality coverage is slowly working its way into sports events—we saw Fox Sports bring VR to the Super Bowl in February. Finding a money-making angle is crucial. (The Super Bowl app and VR experience was free.) Expect many sports franchises to be watching closely to see how the NCAA fares from their VR foray.
Disney VR What's the single biggest problem with VR? Enrobing yourself into another world, and tripping over your coffee table. But Disney Research has figured out a way to make a physical object seen in virtual reality—getting someone wearing a VR headset to catch a ball repeatedly, says Engadget. Sensors that read the person's head and hands, and also those tracking the ball, made the catch possible.
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Math VR Mathematicians like virtual reality too, and researchers at Oklahoma State University have developed an app which tunnels through a warped world. It's trippy—and dizzying even without a VR headset strapped to your face. But the experience is less about zoning out and more about exploring so-called "non-Euclidean space," according to Nature. It's still trippy.
ICYMI: GearBrain did a full-scale review of Insteon's Starter Kit, a hub, smart camera and multiple sensors which can help make sure you don't trip-out when you leave your home unattended. We put the smart home system through our rigorous paces—and if you're in the market for your first smart home set-up, you're going to read our thoughts.
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