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Sarner designs VR volleyball experience for Rio Olympics

Duncan Proctor 4 August 2016
Sarner designs VR volleyball experience for Rio Olympics

Sarner is utilising the latest virtual reality technology to showcase volleyball and beach volleyball at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, working with the FIVB (Fédération Internationale De Volleyball)

Sarner has created an immersive experience within Volleyball House, a specially designed venue near the Beach Volleyball Arena on Copacabana beach. VIPs and special guests will be invited to Volleyball House to enjoy volleyball by engaging and immersing themselves in the virtual reality lounge.

Ed Cookson, projects director at Sarner commented: “Being part of volleyball at the Rio Olympic Games is a real privilege. Using the latest in virtual reality technology, visitors can experience the sport in a completely unique way from perspectives usually only available to athletes and officials.”

Over the last year the Sarner team has been filming volleyball and beach volleyball at major FIVB events around the world to capture it in ways that have never been done before.

Cookson added: “The brief from the FIVB was to bring the energy and beauty of volleyball to life by connecting the fans to the players, and that’s what we’re doing with the VR technology. By incorporating sound recording and music composition, Sarner will deliver a brand new narrative-driven volleyball experience.”

Working with Scopic, a Netherlands-based production company, the team used a number of specialised camera rigs including the new Nokia Ozo and custom-built Sony A7 and GoPro camera rigs. The VR tech provides a unique perspective with visitors able to move their heads to explore the world around them in 360°.

Having worked with a number of different VR display technologies, Sarner chose to use Samsung Gear VR headsets at Volleyball House. Will Case, Sarner’s brand experience director said: “We chose the Samsung Gear VR because of its ease of use, portability and reliability – it’s tried and tested and perfect for such an important high profile experience.”

Sarner has been working with the FIVB to help showcase their sport by creating four cutting edge films as well as designing their VR lounge and VR experience.

The FIVB president, Dr Ary S. Graça, concluded: “We have a great opportunity to turn volleyball into the number one family entertainment sport in the world but we have to be innovative and enable audiences to touch and connect with volleyball like never before. Sarner is helping us deliver on this objective.”

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