Rukkus app looks to take guessing game out of ticket buying

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Sandy Kenyon visits the Rukkus office in Lower Manhattan to check out the new app

Anyone attempting to purchase online tickets to a live event have wondered if the seats are actually in a good viewing location. Now, one new service is attempting to take the guessing game out of the purchase.

Americans will buy 85 million tickets to various events this year, and more of those tickets are being bought using mobile phones. And Rukkus, based in Lower Manhattan, is trying to make the experience more user-friendly.

Using smart phones, Rukkus aims to make some noise in the $30 billion market for tickets to sporting events and concerts.

"One of the great challenges that any fan faces when they're buying tickets is the uncertainty of not actually knowing what it is that they're buying," co-founder Manick Bhan said.

Fans select an event using the app, and a seating chart opens that shows the available tickets. Click on a seat, and virtual reality takes you there.

"What you're looking at is actually what it looks like to sit in the seat," Bhan said. "When you rotate your phone in your hand, you're going to get a full, beautiful, HD, panoramic experience of exactly what it's like."

Add Google Cardboard, and you can see the view in 3-D.

At the Rukkus offices, a team is busy mapping the likes of Yankee Stadium.

"And so we can use that, then overlaid with photos to create a virtual environment that can actually be navigated," co-founder Angela McCrory said.

McCrory and Bhan hope to have all of the city's venues mapped within a year, so that what has begun with sporting events will soon extend to all forms of entertainment:

"Virtual reality is the key," Bhan said. "It's the missing piece that allows fans to actually understand what is my experience actually going to be like for me?...And do that before they buy, so they can decide if they want to pay a little more or they want to pay a little less, and decide what's best for their money."

The Rukkus app is now available for free download to your smart phone, and local sporting events are available now. McCrory and Bhan hope to have concerts and other events within 9 months. Eventually, the app will also work for Broadway theaters.
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