Virtual Reality Heads for the Airwaves

Virtual reality via antenna? Yup. It’s almost here.

VR Video and WheresMyMedia have developed a prototype AR (augmented reality)/VR platform that uses the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard to deliver immersive video content over the airwaves.

Demonstrated at CES 2018, the project was funded with a $15,000 grant from the National Association of Broadcasters, for whom the next-gen over-the-air TV standard is, of course, a big deal.

LiveWorks is described as the first platform for curating and delivering immersive content to ATSC 3.0-enabled televisions and devices alongside traditional broadcast content. HD live feeds can be switched, mixed, and overlaid onto the live VR feeds in real-time along with 3D graphics and other interactive and immersive content, according to the developers.

"There are countless uses for live 360 video and related immersive content to be delivered over the air, cable, satellite, and broadband content,” said LiveWorks founder and CEO Edwin Rogers. “ATSC 3.0 will allow those both with and without an Internet connection to experience immersive and VR content."

Supporting 4K video at up to 120 frames per second with potential 8K support in the future, ATSC 3.0 is hailed as the ideal platform to facilitate immersive content and Internet delivery mechanisms, one that allows for advanced viewer engagement as well as tracking viewer interaction and preferences.

"Imagine a world without TV ads as you know them, where advertising is more like artful product placement that is part of the story,” explained William Steele, CEO of WheresMyMedia. “The story can change based on your preferences, and so can the products contained within it. The ads are games or stories where you can earn rewards in addition to learning more about the product. Advertising should be a fun dynamic experience for the viewer."

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