360° View Interactive Videos: F1, Rally, Off Road Next?

In the world of racing, on-board camera shots are not very new. People have always wanted to feel as though they are smack dab in the middle of the action. A little over 10 years ago, a little thing called the GoPro came along and revolutionized the point-of-view camera experience. With 1080p quality and a nearly 130o field of view all being pumped out of a tiny cube, the possibilities are virtually endless. Check out Method driver Sheldon Creed’s similar helmet cam as he takes a lap in his Formula Off Road truck in St. Petersburg.

Since the start of 2014, we’ve seen people take the GoPro and make the race viewing experience a bit more interactive; picture a much faster, louder, and generally more badass Google Maps car. In perhaps the least-techy and quickest explanation, the cameras (at least three or four) are arranged on a platform that is then placed on the vehicle. Through external software, the cameras’ footage is combined, creating a full 360o view along with up/down movement.

Back in February, we first saw this video of factory Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg taking laps at the famous Silverstone Circuit. As general car people, the fact that we were dictating our viewing experience in the new turbocharged cars was pretty awesome. For the interactive version of the video, click HERE.

Like most things in F1, we figured the technology was way beyond our grasp and more notably our checkbook. That all quickly changed when we met a crew in Oregon for the Rally America Mt. Hood Rally in May. The group was part of a company that was developing one of the coolest apps we’ve seen. Subaru now has an app for your iPhone and Android that allows you to watch race footage of your favorite driver with the same view control as the Mercedes video. To download the app and get more info, click HERE.

David Higgins | Subaru Rally Team USA

All we know is, we can’t wait to see this in off road. As the technology becomes a bit more common and affordable, it could potentially help solve a lot of penalty and contact discrepancies for race officials. What are some more positives and negatives of this technology? What driver would you want to ride with? Let us know in the comments below!