Samsung Electronics is planning to broadcast the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics, i.e. the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics in virtual reality (VR), according to a recent statement from Cha Young-tae, the company’s Mobile Marketing Director. On Tuesday, Cha told The Korea Herald that the largest business conglomerate in the country is looking to provide consumers with a VR experience that’s equivalent to personally attending the next Winter Olympics that are taking place in Pyeongchang, a city located in South Korea’s northeast.
The Seoul-based tech giant already entered negotiations with the International Olympic Committee and Olympic Broadcasting Services to try and find some common ground and negotiate a viable broadcasting deal, Cha revealed. Samsung already has a history of pairing its VR products and services with sports events and Olympic Games in particular as the company previously provided VR coverage of the last Summer Olympics in Rio. Shortly after, the South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer also committed significant resources to creating VR content in collaboration with USA Basketball and the NBA. A big difference that the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Olympics may debut is real-time VR streaming that an experimental 5G network may enable by next year. KT, the largest telecom giant in South Korea and the official sponsor of the next Winter Olympics is currently investing massive resources into implementing a 5G network in time for the upcoming sports event, and Samsung is counting on that network to fuel its own VR-related ambitions.
Cha provided no specific details regarding any potential VR broadcasts of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics as Samsung is still negotiating with all relevant parties and isn’t able to make any concrete promises for the time being. Regardless, the company’s plans to stream the upcoming sports event in VR mark another step in its long-term strategy to promote this emerging technology and its own related products and services. Samsung recently announced a revised version of its Gear VR headset powered by the technology from the Facebook-owned Oculus and the Seoul-based tech giant repeatedly stated that VR is the future of multimedia consumption, so more similar products, services, and initiatives from the firm are bound to follow in the future.