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How VOKE is helping Hotstar to bring 3D VR to Kabaddi

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MUMBAI: That India’s leading video streaming OTT player Hotstar is making its coverage of the World Kabaddi League available to viewers in 3D Virtual Reality(VR)  is known to many now. But what’s not known by most is who is behind making this is a reality. Well, it’s a Silicon Valley based company called VOKE, which has helped stream the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four, the CBS Morning Show and live streams of concerts, NBA, NFL and college football games, courtesy its live TrueVR technology. It is ranked as amongst the best in the live event VR space and its focus is on building the next generation of fan engagement for live sports and entertainment.

"Star India is one of the most iconic media companies in the world and has been focused on transforming sports in India. This partnership will allow them to provide live, immersive virtual reality experiences to their users for the first time,” says VOKE co-founder & CEO Sankar Jayaram. The flexibility of our technology platform is unique and enables media companies to reach their audiences across a variety of mediums and deliver personalized VR experiences to all fans like never before."

Adds Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan: "We owe our loyal and growing platform users the very best video experience in the world. Fans in India look to Hotstar to set the benchmark for video streaming. We are excited to collaborate with VOKE to bring a dramatic new live experience to sports fans."

The flexibility of VOKE's platform is significant and it enables media companies to host the VR content on their own sites and branded applications instead of requiring that it be aggregated on the VOKE VR site. Hotstar users will be able access the TrueVR™ stream by selecting the Google Cardboard feature in Hotstar's iOS and Android apps or by downloading the Hotstar Gear VR app from the Oculus Store. Highlights and video on demand content will be available through the same outlets for those who are unable to watch it live.

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The Voke Camera Pod

VOKE's live TrueVR™ stream for the Kabaddi World Cup will be available to Hotstar users on both Google Cardboard and Gear VR headsets. In addition, a personalized, 2D user-controlled experience will also be available for viewers without headsets on Hotstar.com or on the Hotstar app. It is the first time TrueVR™ content from a live event of this magnitude will be available on multiple headsets and mobile operating systems.

Speaking to SportsVideoGroup in late August, Jayaram explaining the virtues of VOKE’s VR expertise had said: “So we put multiple pods on the field, and we allow users to choose where they want to be…. One, we can do a produced feed and take people where we think they might want to be. But we feel that, if a user really just wants to be sitting down by the players and coaches in VR, those are options and choices we want to give them. All of our cameras are completely synced, down to the frame level. Which means, when you want to do a replay or you pause one camera position, you can pick the action up from another camera at the exact same frame. Our cameras can go down to that level of detail if our viewers want to use it that way. So we provide full multi-POV, synchronized, DVR-capable streams, and that spans across VR, mobile, VOD, everything."

VOKE says that the Hotstar partnership will continue for more live sporting events going forward. That should be good news for immersive virtual reality sporting event lovers.

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