Sports in virtual reality sounds cool, but can feel distant

NEW YORK (AP) When watching sports in virtual reality, it’s best to remind yourself that TV wasn’t born in a day. Early television was mostly radio with pictures. It took years – even decades – for producers to figure out the right camera angles, graphics and instant replays to deliver.

Sports is going through a similar transformation. VR holds the promise of putting fans right in the middle of the sporting action – on the 50-yard line, say, or in a ringside seat, or standing behind the catcher as the umpire calls strikes.

But today’s VR sports have an empty and distant feel to them. Watching through a headset sometimes feels like being there in the stadium … by yourself, absent cheering fans, hot dogs and beer. And it doesn’t get you close enough to the action to compensate.

For now, the zoom lenses of television cameras do a much better job of showing a pitcher’s intensity or a free-throw shooter’s concentration.

Yet Intel, NextVR and other companies are working to bring a variety of sports – boxing, golf, soccer, %href-on(file: