We explain everything you need to know about the Sky VR app, a new Virtual Reality experience for Sky customers coming in 2016. Here’s what the Sky VR app is, what VR content it will support, how to download it onto your mobile device and what VR headsets are supported.
Sky announced back in March 2016 that it would be making moves in the world of VR, and this past week finally revealed its own Sky VR app will land this summer.
So what can we expect from a virtual reality app made by a major broadcaster, a first in itself? Existing virtual reality headsets are likely to get more use than ever, for one thing. But, most importantly, this is the beginning of mass-produced virtual reality which means it’s likely to become the norm before too long.
Here’s what you need to know about Sky VR and the new Sky VR app.
Sky VR app: What is it?
The Sky VR app is still largely under wraps, but it is the end goal of Sky’s relatively newly set up Sky VR department. The idea is that the app will convey virtual reality content to a supported headset so the wearer can look around in 360-degrees, as if really in the scene. That’s particularly exciting for sports fans, for instance, who could get front-row seats at the biggest sporting events.
Sky invested in VR specialist Jaunt VR back in September 2015 and has also built a team in post-production dedicated to creating these enhanced VR experiences, so you can expect something special when the Sky VR app is released.
The VR app will arrive this summer, hosting Sky content that the company says will set the trend for how virtual reality experiences should be filmed, packaged and viewed. Nice.
Sky VR app: How can I watch it?
The Sky VR app should work on a variety of platforms when it is released this summer. Headsets that will run the app, as confirmed by Sky so far, are: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard.
So not only will the Sky VR app run on some of the most advanced headsets available, but it will also work on plenty of Android smartphones and iPhones with an affordable cardboard adapter.
Sky VR Studios’ creative director, Anthony Nockles, has said the company will eventually release its own dedicated hardware. However, that headset is still “a little bit further away” than the app’s summer release.
Sky VR app: What can I watch in virtual reality?
Thanks to a host of content that Sky is already responsible for broadcasting, you can expect a broad variation of VR videos. From movies and TV shows to sport, Sky is looking into many possible ways to enhance the viewing experience using VR. But first it looks like sport will lead the charge.
Sky has already shown off a private demo of the VR app in use. This put the viewer ringside at the Anthony Joshua boxing match in the O2 arena. But with Formula One, Tour de France and more are also being looked into – this is just the beginning.
At least 20 virtual reality videos are expected to be launched along with the Sky VR app this summer, or very soon after.
Read next: How to watch the 2016 Olympics in VR
Sky VR app: How much is it?
The cost of the app has not been announced. It may be a free to download initially or limited to the customers that subscribe to Sky.
The headsets to run the Sky VR app on vary in price from a £15 Google Cardboard viewer or £67 Gear VR up to £759 for the HTC Vive and £899 for the Oculus Rift.