For the past couple years, Rogers has done some great partnerships with the NHL. Most notably, they offer GameCentre LIVE to all customers for free, which gives access to a bunch of out-of-market NHL games, and most notably, the ability to see exclusive angles during games – getting you closer to the ice. Rogers is always trying new things, and this week they held an event to share their new virtual reality (VR) experience featuring former NHL player Mark Messier.
I’ve tried VR before using a Google Cardboard as well as the Oculus Rift. Rogers was demonstrating the experience off of a Samsung Gear VR with a pre-release Galaxy S7 Edge inside. The 2-minute video takes hockey fans on a backstage tour of the Air Canada Centre with Mark Messier as host.
Even though I was standing inside and looking at a screen, it really felt like I was on the ice. Looking around, I could see skate marks on the ice. In another scene, I was riding the zamboni machine, and looked all around me as I took control of a iconic hockey symbol. VR is amazing, and I highly encourage everyone to try it, even if you don’t have a viewer you can still move your phone around as a “magic window” into another world.
In addition to VR, Rogers has also launched a big push for 4K content. Rogers is one of the first companies in the world to offer live 4K content through cable, and I can personally say that it looks amazing. When I experienced a live 4K hockey game a few weeks back, the 4x HD resolution allowed me to see such minute details as the names on the back the jerseys people were wearing in the audience, and the facial expression of coaches on the sidelines. I’m so excited to see more 4K content come throughout the year, and hope to see more movies and TV shows make the jump as well.
If you want your own VR viewer, I’d recommend you try either the Gear VR from Rogers (requires a Samsung phone), or the awesome View-Master Virtual reality viewer. A sample of the Rogers 360 VR experience can be viewed as part of the Jaunt App, or on YouTube here.
Major shout-out to Hayley Farb from Rogers for putting on a great event at the ACC for us to try out the VR experience, and for taking me to my first NHL hockey game ever! The view was awesome and the company was even better. Plus, from my brief hands-on time with the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, I’m impressed!