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Intel Creates Unique Virtual Courtside Experience

Most NBA fans are curious regarding the courtside experience but are very rarely able to avail such seats. It is a view reserved for personalities like team owners, celebrities and celebrated entrepreneurs.

But Intel is changing that reality through the incorporation of VR. The tech giant has partnered with Turner Sports to create specific hardware and a software application for this purpose. It is a development that is part of the collective trend of big tech brands aiming to make considerable strides. Efforts to capitalise on the growing sporting events space and garnering better audience attention are still on at full swing.

Photograph by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Intel and Turner Sports, in cooperation with the NBA, are broadcasting live basketball games in virtual reality (VR). This is an ongoing move which was also done last season, but this year there are many new innovations. During this season, the new inclusions are 4K cameras and coverage for more games. Starting December 27, as much as 10 games will be subject to coverage, including the playoff games, weekend festivities during All-Star events, Boston versus Houston, and also the Eastern Conference Finals. In addition to all of this, the virtual reality based coverage will also include a rich stream of real-time data including player statistics, team information, shot clocks, and game clocks.

The NBA on TNT virtual reality application is powered by powerful Intel True VR cams, in addition to head-mounted equipment sourced from Oculus Rift (from Facebook), and Samsung Electronics (Korea: 005930). Fans have the option of switching up to different viewpoints, and they can also bring up reviews intuitively, on demand. This development is a shining example of the ingenuity of Intel and shows how it is making a mark in the immersive technology domain. Intel, along with many other tech giants is leading the growth prospects of the VR industry. According to estimates from Statista, the value of the market is set to rise from $2.2 billion in 2017 to $19 billion by 2020. 

Howard Wright, a retired NBA professional and the vice president of global business development, Intel Sports Group at Intel Capital, the company’s investment department, stated his views regarding the development. He expressed that the live sports experience from Intel entails users consuming content from their smart devices. It is a significant move from the two-dimensional television screens which have been used for decades by users. This technology, however, is not limited to the environs of the NBA. It has been exercised before, to broadcast virtual reality games in the Spanish La Liga soccer tournament, Major League Baseball, and the NCAA basketball men’s competition

Intel has emerged as a clear leader in the domain of virtual reality technology for sporting events, with significant developments like three-dimensional event capture, incorporation of multiple angles, and real-time image stitching. Further developments are expected in this sector as 5G networks are emerging, along with enhanced battery technology innovations. This form of technology is being received well by many industry stalwarts.

Visit the Intel website for further information

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