Bookmaker William Hill is working on its own virtual reality software that will allow customers to watch a live horse race through the eyes of a jockey, giving them a unique chance to experience how the race unfolds.
Using data gathered from real-life races, GPS trackers and an accurate 3D model of a racetrack, Hill hopes that devices such as Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard will let users see a race through the eyes of a jockey. The technology would be able to show race positions, information about the horse and let the user look around their surroundings by moving their heads. While it is currently not available to the public, the bookmaker plans to include support virtual reality in their official app near to Christmas.
“Currently you place a bet and not much happens between that and the outcome,” said Crispin Nieboer, William Hill’s director of innovation. “We want to bring customers closer to the sporting action, to experience the thrill of the ride.“
Some critics have voiced concern that the addition of new technology such as virtual reality could lead to gambling becoming more glamorized. However, the UK’s Gambling Commission had already confirmed that it will monitor any such innovations to make sure that they do not encourage people to gamble excessively.