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360-Degree Offshore Racing Video Gets Real With STIHL

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Given the evolving boom in 360-degree and three-dimensional digital video technology propelled by Go-Pro and Occulus googles—the latter is owned by Facebook—it makes sense that it would find its way into the offshore racing world. Courtesy of J.R. Noble, the owner and driver of the STIHL offshore racing, two sample 360-degree videos from the 2015 Super Boat International World Championships in Key West, Fla., make for impressive demonstrations of the technology that will appeal to offshore racing fans who want to catch the action “from all sides.” Here are the links:

Race Footage: https://youtu.be/H3DHmZMJh5o
Duval St. Nightlife: https://youtu.be/5W5vtdzQ9fc

A couple of notes for proper viewing. First, if you want to watch the videos in full 360-degree effect you’ll need to use Google Chrome as your browser. Simply paste one of the links above into your browser window. (Firefox may or may not work properly with the links, but Internet Explorer definitely will not.) Second, if you want to watch the videos on a mobile device, you need to watch within the YouTube app for complete 360-degree viewing functionality.

On a desktop, laptop computer or tablet, you’ll find a circle with directional arrows in the top left-hand corner of your screen to change your view. With a smart phone connected to the YouTube app, you simply turn the phone to change your view.

“It’s really incredible,” said Noble. “You can watch the STIHL boat coming down the home stretch while getting ‘squeezed’ by the two boats—or going out of the harbor. It’s only a couple of minutes long but its very cool technology.

“These videos are very early at this point, but at some point—when the technology is there—you’ll be able to put on a pair of Virtual Reality goggles and experience the race like you were in the cockpit with you,” he added. “We’re getting ahead of the game on these, but you can start to see the possibilities.”

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