Though all the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix racing fun was at the Circuit of the Americas, they also had several other events in downtown Austin, Texas as part of the F1 weekend. I attended 2 of the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix events over the weekend, the Bose virtual “F1 Garage Experience” and Fan Fest.
The first event I attended was the Bose virtual “F1 Garage Experience” in downtown Austin, Texas. The experience starts with putting on the new Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones and going into a dark room which was the size of a one car garage. Once it starts you are transported into the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Garage. Before they start virtually working on the car to be raced the walls and floor light up with a timer, different 3D patterns of the race tracks and other images, and foot prints on the floor walking around the car that you are supposed to step on.While wearing the new Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones you can listen in on mechanics talking and also when they begin working on the car. Soon after hearing the mechanics chatting the floor lights with an outline of a race car and you can hear them beginning to work on the car. At the end the car is ready to hit the tracks and the experience was over. Before I left I also took a few pictures of items on display and this car. All in all is was an awesome experience and I am now a HUGE fan of the Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones.
The following day I went to F1’s Fan Fest in downtown Austin where they closed off 3 blocks on the infamous 6th street for F1 fanatical who aren’t at the races. Fan Fest had live music, car displays, photos, exhibits and the activation booth from Facebook plus Bud Light, Topo Chico, Perky Jerky, and Advance Auto Parts booths.
Besides taking pictures and listening to live bands performing on different roof tops of bars I also checked out Facebook‘s VR Glass Room. I have tried the Oculus Rift many times for VR gaming demos but not for a VR experience of being in another country or in outer space. While waiting in a short line I was asked to take a picture wearing the Facebook branded Gear VR headset. I am convinced no one can look good wearing those. Even the most beautiful woman in the world would look silly wearing a VR headset.
While in line I started talking to the Facebook’s staff members to get the skinny before going in. The Facebook staff informed me the demo was using Gear VR hardware powered by a smartphone for the visuals and audio. That perked my curiosity and made me excited to have this new experience! When I entered the Facebook VR Glass Room I was quickly outfitted with a pair of Facebook’s implementation of Gear VR goggles and geared up for my 2 minute demo. Once it started, I started having the VR experience of being in different lands and outer space. It was amazing since everywhere you would turn (up, down, left right and behind you) it was as if you were really there.
One of the Asian countries featured in the experience had you on boat (or canoe) and when you would turn behind you there is a person in the boat with you that seemed very real, somewhat spooked me out a tad. I do have to say that since I’ve experienced gaming demos on the higher-end Oculus Rift, the Gear VR’s graphics were not as crisp as I would prefer or have experienced in the past. Regardless the Facebook VR experience was amazing and got me excited to see what the future will hold for VR and Oculus.
I hope all that attended Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix had an amazing time in my hometown Austin, Texas and enjoyed our fabulous BBQ plus all the live music. As this was my first time covering the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix and events I had a blast! Till next year Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix fans!