The field of online ticket sales is very, very wide and there are new players all the time. This week, one player made a huge leap forward in making sure that the seat you pay for is the seat that you expect. A major update to the Rukkus application introduces virtual reality (VR) to the process and allows users to get a 360º view from every seat in the house.
The major new feature in the Rukkus iOS app is called Seat360 and uses gyroscope-driven panoramic seat views to allow users to fully experience their seat location first-hand before final purchases are made. The Seat360 panoramic views lend themselves to virtual reality and the application offers a Google Cardboard mode for immersive VR. The same panoramic seat views, but without the virtual reality presentation, are available across all other platforms, including the Rukkus website and the Android application.
Seat360 is already functional for all of the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) stadiums and more than half of the Major League Baseball (MLB) ballparks, including Yankee Stadium & AT&T Park in San Francisco. Rukkus is planning a major push to add Seat360 functionality for major theater and concert venues this summer and move on to National Football League (NFL) stadiums in the fall.
In an exclusive conversation with Manick Bahn, CEO/CTO of Rukkus, the Architechnologist talked about the potential that the Seat360 experience has to change the way we shop for seats at live events. A major factor in the functionality of the technology is that a panorama must be available for each seat in each venue for every possible arrangement of the venue (the stage at a concert in a stadium will be a very different experience than a baseball game at the same location).
Standard seat view photos or renderings are a step in the right direction, but still leave much to the imagination. An interactive panorama tells the whole story and Seat360 utilizes virtual reality in a practical way, giving customers the opportunity to experience their seat before they buy.
— Manick Bhan, CEO/CTO of Rukkus
Bhan described the special camera rig that Rukkus has been using to capture their content; it has been cobbled together from several hi-definition cameras and stitching software that merges the images together to make the 360º panoramas and tag them with their specific location. Bringing this unique piece of hardware to every venue that Rukkus might want to feature would be difficult, expensive and time-consuming… which leads to the next step in building the library of VR content. Users can expect an upcoming version of the Rukkus application will allow users to use their mobile devices to contribute panoramas from their seats when they are in a venue that needs additional data.
The new version of the Rukkus application Seat360 with is available in the iOS app store now. The Android version (missing the VR capabilities for now) is available through Google Play and everyone can access Rukkus online at rukkus.com.