BRISBANE heat fans will get to walk in the shoes of their heroes this summer, as cricketers turn cyber with world-first virtual reality technology.
The T20 Big Bash League club is making a revolutionary leap into the future of sport by taking fans on a virtual reconstruction of the Heat change rooms and game-day action.
Viewers can step into the dressingrooms and experience it from whatever angle they like before heading out into the middle of the Gabba and batting against Heat stars like Ben Cutting.
The VR technology and headsets will initially be available in selected shopping centres displays from next week, although fans can download the new Heat VR app on their devices and have a separate virtual-reality cricket experience right now.
The app will bring Heat players to life on the devices, with new Big Bash collector cards appearing to come to life in virtual reality when viewed through the app.
The Heat has stolen a march on their Big Bash League rivals – and Cricket Australia – with the new technology, which is set to be the talk of the competition.
The technology opens up new corporate opportunities for the Heat, such as having bat companies cough up sponsorship dollars for having their products used in the Heat’s virtual reality experience.
Heat general manager Andrew McShea expects the hi-tech initiatives to prove extremely popular, especially with the family market that has fallen in love with the Big Bash in recent seasons.
Heat cricketers Sam Heazlett and Holly Ferling have road-tested the new products, with rookie batsman Heazlett remarking the VR experience replicated what he felt when he walked out to bat for the first time last season in front of a massive Gabba crowd.
“It was an amazing moment to play in a Big Bash game when I got my chance, but having the headset on and facing up to bat in the VR was very close to what I remember on the night,’’ he said.