LeBron James wants you to know his reality can be your virtual reality. The NBA star's training routine is front and center in a push by Samsung and Facebook's Oculus to bring VR to the consumer market.
The 12-minute video, "Striving for Greatness: An Uninterrupted Original," debuted Christmas Day on Gear VR, a platform that pairs a $100 Samsung headset with Oculus-powered software. Some of the footage was previously released on Facebook. The extended version knits together 360-degree scenes of James' workout prep for his 13th NBA season.
— Oculus (@oculus) December 26, 2015
The film, which Oculus funded, comes ahead of Oculus' release of its own consumer-friendly VR headset, planned for early 2016, the Verge reported. Facebook plunked down $2 billion last year to acquire Oculus, considered a pioneer in the world of virtual reality.
"Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post last year describing his plans for expanding virtual reality technology. "This is really a new communication platform."
While VR often still is associated with video games, a film starring an NBA legend helps further Oculus' mainstream ambitions, the Verge noted, because it helps the company "shake off the stereotype that VR only appeals to gamers."
For his part, James, who co-founded Uninterrupted as a multimedia production company for athletes, announced a $15.8 million round of financing in his venture earlier this month. Warner Bros. and Turner Sports led the investment.