The NBA Teams Up with Intel to Bring Your Courtside via VR

Continuing their project from last year, Intel and the NBA are teaming up yet again to bring viewers a virtual reality experience right in their homes.

Basically, it will simulate being courtside and will give viewers a really up close and personal look of the action on the court.

Intel and Turner Sports have worked together on making this technology viable and it looks like it was popular enough for another go. If it works out, it could change the way people watch not only basketball but also any other sport.

In fact, live sporting events are seen as a real growth area for VR in the future and many companies are trying to get in on the action before everyone else does. The entertainment industry as a whole is no stranger to VR, but the kinds of immersion and on-the-fly data that a live sporting event offers is way different than a scripted television show or movie. That’s why VR for sports is not only a matter of willingness but also tech. And some serious technology at that.

The NBA and Turner Sports are expanding upon last season’s program in every way with more data, more stuff to view, and more matches that will support the technology. Samsung VR units, as well as The NBA Teams Up with Intel to Bring Your Courtside via VR Facebook’s Oculus Go, should be capable of using TNT’s app for the VR viewing experience according to Barron’s.

A lot of people have compared it to watching a video game. Indeed, it does mimic the format many game devs use when it comes to sports titles. There’s tons of info, highlights, circles and shapes and lines all over the screen. For the true sports fan, it is either information overload or heaven on Earth. Stats fans will especially love it.

Tony Parisi of Unity Technologies told Barron’s via email: “Having the ability to watch sports in VR is almost inevitable…You’re talking about giving a viewer the same type of immersive experience they’d have if they were courtside.”

Cathy Hacki of You Are Here Labs thought the technology would appeal particularly to a younger audience. This is because it not only mimics the video game format but also allows for some of the same manipulations of information and viewing angles. As many large stadium events face increasing pressure to monetize anything and everything, VR couldn’t come at a better time for sports in general. American football, for its part, is struggling with declining revenue and attendance numbers while the NBA is booming. Perhaps one could take a page from the other and incorporate some of the latest in VR entertainment technology.

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