By Neha Aggarwal
Digitization in sport is talked about everyday and when such ideas are put into practice, they transform the way a sport is perceived. The ITTF brings a twist to your table tennis viewing experience.
Fans always want to know what is feels like to move as quick as Xu Xin or hit as hard as Fan Zhendong. All of us have seen table tennis only from 2D until now. The ITTF now offers you to experience the game from an athlete’s perspective.
Yes, a 360 degree view of table tennis!
What is 360 degree viewing?
We placed the camera near the net on the table to capture Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin training here at the Liebherr 2016 ITTF Men’s World Cup. What you see in the video is an up close angle of both the players hitting back and forth. With simply tapping or clicking and then dragging the mouse around the video screen, you can change the viewing angle and watch the 360 degree action around you.
The Giroptic camera used to record the video lets you view the table, both the players playing in every direction, front and back, up and down, left and right.
What do you see and feel?
As soon as you click play, you see Fan Zhendong hitting deadly forehand topspins moving swiftly right to left and back. The speed in which the ball is being hit, feels like bullets being fired from a shotgun. See how Fan Zhendong effortlessly moves from right to left in a blink of an eye, because that is the speed you need to be the number two table tennis player in the world.
Notice the balance that he maintains in the semi squat position to take each shot.
Hold and drag the mouse slightly to the left. You will see the bright blue table and the shining white net where the ball is moving back and forth in lighting speed. After you feel the high velocity of the ball, next feel the force in which the ball is hit. Its brutal, feels like the shake of an earthquake.
Hold and drag the mouse further to the left. Now you can watch the same rally but its Xu Xin blocking Fan Zhendong’s lethal topspins. The angle is such that it lets you see the rhythmic style in which Xu Xin moves to block those bullets from Fan Zhendong. Notice how stable Xu Xin is with his legs and core.
The speed, more than 100 kilometers per hour gets on to you. The decibel of each shot hit is intense.
The 360 degree viewing experience is one of its kind, makes you feel what the athletes feel, the thump, the smash and the speed of this beautiful game of table tennis!