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Formula One puts you in the Grand Prix with VR and AR

Thor Olavsrud | Oct. 28, 2016
Last week, Formula One and Tata Communications provided a peek into the future of motorsport when they announced the winners of its 2016 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, focused on fan-created virtual reality and augmented reality apps.

And the winners ....

Three winners were named for each challenge. The six winners were then eligible to win the 2016 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize.

The three winners of the Virtual Operations Challenge were the following:

  • Benjamin van Caspel (Australia). van Caspel submitted an augmented reality interface that improves the performance of engineers and mechanics, both trackside and in the Race Support Room (RSR). It uses Microsoft Hololens to display data in intuitive places in the space around the users. Key information is displayed in real-time, allowing both sets of teams to share their own observations, deeply analyze data to make more informed decisions and react rapidly to changes.
  • Leire Apraiz Elcoroiribe and Marco Einöder (Spain). Elcoroiribe and Einöder also designed an AR solution. It allows engineers to point the camera of a mobile or tablet device at a car, revealing multiple informative hotspots overlaid on the screen. RSR and trackside working teams using the solution use VR as a communication interface, taking advantage of wearable technologies to provide an integrated holistic view point of every factor during a race.
  • Tom Blockley and Richard Howells (U.K.). Blockley and Howells turned to a fully self-contained holographic headset for their solution. With it, engineers can view and interact with important actions and data at a glance in both VR and AR environments via a processing app. An interactive 'Virtual Race Center' streamlines operations by virtually transporting the RSR engineers to the trackside environment and vice versa.

The Formula One Management Virtual Fan Experience Challenge also had these three winners:

  • James Gough and Richard Pilsbury (U.K.) Gough and Pilsbury submitted a mobile application that gives fans the ability to view near-live 360-degree videos, using VR, from any Grand Prix in the world. Users can navigate through various locations at the race by looking at 'hotspots' within the app, while AR provides additional information at points of interest. For instance, driver statistics appear when viewing the Formula One Drivers' Track Parade.
  • Paul Clarke (Australia). Clarke, who won the top prize in 2015, calls his submission OMNI. It uses VR and AR to replicate the trackside atmosphere and shows how fans could be immersed in the action as if they were live at the event. A complementary feature, the 'Virtual Village' alls fans to control what they want to see, whether it's a live 360-degree video of the pit lane, social media interactions or guided tours of off-track activities.
  • Datau YogaBrata (Singapore). YogaBrata's 'Virtual Trackside Experience' uses VR to give fans live panoramic 360-degree visuals captured by multiple agents, roaming the circuit with wearable VR equipment. It integrates AR as well, giving fans the ability to select specific objects that reveal additional information. For instance, fans could look at an F1 car to reveal tire choices. YogaBrata also includes a gamification element, allowing fans to compete against each other in finding 'hidden stars' with the VR environment.


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