Samsung is trying to extend virtual reality (VR) beyond gaming, by teaming up with Live Nation to live stream Coldplay concerts.
As part of the band’s A Head Full of Dreams Tour, Samsung is offering fans to chance to tune in around the world to a performance at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
Samsung Electronics America’s vice president of content and services, Michael Schmier, said:
We are thrilled to offer Samsung Gear VR owners access to premium, immersive live entertainment and experiences in full 360. By partnering with Live Nation and Coldplay, music fans across the globe with Gear VR can tune in to the live concert, experiencing the energy of the show like never before.
You might remember back when Samsung launched its new 360-degree camera, that its promotional video featured a dad filming a concert so his daughter, at home with a cold, could watch the gig in virtual reality on her VR headset.
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It’s an interesting way of extending the VR experience too, which so far has seemed to be mainly related to gaming.
According to research by Barclays, around 15 percent of UK gamers said they were planning on investing in a VR headset like Oculus Rift or Samsung VR.
And Samsung is still the company that is pushing this movement forward. A report by SuperData earlier this year found that of the 6.3m VR devices shipped worldwide in 2016, 4.51m of those headsets were Samsung VR.
However, these sales figures might have been boosted by the fact the company gave away thousands of the headsets along with pre-sale orders for its S7 device.
Maybe this attempt by Samsung will push VR over into the mainstream. Yet, there are issues surrounding the technology.
In general, VR headsets are still relatively big, bulky, and can be cumbersome to wear.
As well, there are problems with people reporting of having motion sickness after trying out immersive experiences through VR headsets.
According to Science News, 78 percent of women reported feeling sick when playing a VR horror game, and 33 percent of men said they felt sick too.
As well, SuperData found that though more people are playing VR games, the play times are relatively short – seven minutes on average for mobile VR and 12 minutes on high-end headsets specifically focused on gaming.
If those stats translate into simply watching something on VR, like a Coldplay concert, there will probably be only a few viewers that can sit through an entire 90-minute concert virtually.
Can’t blame them for trying though.
If you want to tune into the live broadcast of Coldplay’s concert, it will begin on 17 August, starting at 8.30pm central time (2.30am BST). A replay will be available on Samsung’s VR platform for a limited time after.