News Local

Virtual reality the future for Canucks fans

By Bryan Mc Govern

VR video was displayed to fans on Saturday at the Consumer Virtual Reality Expo in Vancouver.
SUBMITTED

VR video was displayed to fans on Saturday at the Consumer Virtual Reality Expo in Vancouver. SUBMITTED

With the Vancouver Canucks missing the playoffs and picking fifth in this year’s NHL draft — and playing so many of their young players down the stretch this season — it’s all about the future.

That goes for how fans watch the game as well.

The Canucks organization has just made a huge leap into the future of technology as a way to enhance the fan experience.

Chris Bedyk, founder of the Perspective Films virtual reality production agency, partnered with the Canucks to produce a 360 video that lets the user control an intimate experience with the team.

The video was an exclusive for Canucks’ season ticket holders as a reward and, according to Bedyk, a way to make them “feel like they’re part of the team.”

Now it is available online for everyone on the team’s website, and was displayed to fans on Saturday at the Consumer Virtual Reality Expo in Vancouver.

Following the team inside the locker room, the video shows how the players get ready for their games, and then the user is able to see the players enter the rink through the tunnel at Rogers Arena while receiving cheers and high fives from the fans.

After the players skate around the rink for around a minute, both teams line up for the Canadian national anthem, which Bedyk described as “their favourite part of the video … you get to feel that energy in the middle of the ice.”

The video player lets users toy with the perspective of the video by clicking on the screen to adjust it. However, Bedyk said the best option is to use an actual virtual reality headset.

“Not everybody can go behind the scenes into the dressing room,” Bedyk said. The video was pre-recorded, but he said online live streams with the help of virtual reality could be possible in the future.