Nov 16, 2018 - Technology

The Weather Channel is bringing mixed reality to sports forecasting

In the pinnacle of football season, The Weather Channel is forecasting football weather in mixed reality to help viewers understand the conditions the players endure at the stadium, shown in their newest mixed reality video exclusively obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The channel plans to use immersive mixed reality technology in 80% of their programming by 2020 to give their reporting more of a competitive edge.

What they're saying: The Weather Channel has been producing more immersive mixed reality videos to report a more realistic way viewers can see weather in action, Michael Chesterfield, Director of Weather Presentation at The Weather Channel, tells Axios.

The technology from Future Group, called "immersive mixed reality," takes viewers inside of a storm environment for a better forecast rather than just a map with a temperature gauge, Chesterfield said.

  • The video features meteorologist Stephanie Abrams and former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers using the technology to depict how rainy, windy and sleety conditions can affect plays on the turf.
  • Some pro football stadiums have domes that lock out the outdoor elements, but a majority of the stadiums nationwide still host games outside.

Between the lines: In March, Entertainment Studios bought The Weather Channel's TV operation. Its reach 0f 80 million U.S. homes is adapting new means of programming, The Wall Street Journal reports.

  • In September, The Weather Channel released a mixed reality video that went viral, to show how dangerous it would be if residents did not evacuate who due to the storm surge from Hurricane Florence.
  • The channel has also produced a wildfire overtaking a field and the impact of a tornado.

What's next: By early 2019, Chesterfield said the channel wants to produce weather time lapses in mixed reality.

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