Ticket marketplace StubHub has launched a new ‘Virtual View’ feature which will let users know exactly what the view from their seats will look like before buying tickets.
If you’ve ever gone through the process of buying tickets to a sports or concert venue, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to look at a top-down diagram of the seating layout as you’re asked to pick your seat. Often times the diagram isn’t to scale, and it’s rarely clear why the price of one section is significantly different than another (though it almost always has to do with the view).
Now, before you drop big bucks on the front-row seat, or think the nosebleeds can’t be that bad for what you’re saving, StubHub’s Virtual View feature will let you see exactly what the view is like from your soon-to-be seat.
StubHub’s virtual view is available through Cardboard devices via the company’s Android and iOS app; there’s not official Daydream support yet, but it’s possible to use your Daydream View headset to see the scene as a Cardboard headset. Those without a headset can look at the view in a simple 360 format right on their screen.
360 viewing appears to be the primary use-case, with VR as somewhat of an afterthought; the virtual images are relatively low fidelity, not 3D, and somewhat off-horizon when seen through the Cardboard view. We hope to see StubHub improve the VR end of this experience; something like NVIDIA’s Iray VR for ray-traced rendering might do the trick (and don’t forget to keep the horizon level!)
The company has rolled out Virtual View for a few stadiums across the U.S., including fans headed to Philadelphia Flyers games at Wells Fargo Center this season and NHL games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, United Center in Chicago, and TD Garden in Boston. The company says more hockey arenas will be announced soon, and that the feature is also available for “various MLB, NFL, NBA and college football venues around the country.”
This seems like a natural first step into VR for a company like StubHub. In the future, it’s conceivable that you might simply be able to buy a ‘virtual seat’ through the same service to watch the game from home thanks to VR live broadcasters like NextVR.