William Hill Debuts Google Cardboard Horse Racing App

UK-based operator William Hill debuts today its new Google Cardboard application to become the first major gaming company that offers products in the virtual reality channel.

The so-called Get In The Race is just a prototype for now and generally speaking, it offers customers the opportunity to experience 3D horse race as if they are real jockeys. William Hill worked together with Unit9 on the development of the app. In order to create the horse race environment, the production studio combined GPS racetrack data with virtual reality technology.

The gaming operator said that certain trials need to be run before the application is released on a larger scale. As Crispin Nieboer, Director of Corporate Development and Innovation for William Hill, pointed out, the trials would help the company decide whether the product should become available on the mass market.

Mr. Nieboer commented that the gaming industry has a lot more to do regarding innovation. Furthermore, he stated that Get In The Race is “all about the thrill of the ride” and will give customers excellent riding experience.

The executive also explained that William Hill is yet to determine what kind of features the application is to include, if it has its large-scale release. For instance, it might remain available only in Google Cardboard, but it could also be further developed and distributed across the company’s stores. Furthermore, customers might be allowed to use it for betting or only to experience horse races as if they are jockeys.

In order to do this, they will only need a smartphone and a special virtual reality headset, which is shaped like a helmet and is provided by William Hill. Once customers put the headset on, they will be able to “mount” their horse. A head-up display will give them information about the animal’s heart rate, race position, etc.

The app is set to debut today at the Digital Shoreditch festival, which is currently taking place in London. According to initial information, customers will have to pay £8 for it.

Henry Cowley, Creative Director at Unit9, commented that the realization of Get In The Race points to the constantly increasing trend for operators to look for product-oriented solutions rather than massive advertising campaigns, in order to attract customers and solve particular business needs.

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