Building on this relationship between technology and sports, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is offering support to new, emerging technologies, and giving them a platform to experiment and demonstrate their products.
The NBA All-Star Weekend this year gave us a glimpse into what maybe the future of sports.
NBA becomes a demonstration platform for tech companies
What is the NBA All-Star Weekend?
The NBA All-Star Weekend is an annual festival in February. It consists of a variety of basketball-related events, all of which culminate into the NBA All-Star Game which pits star players from the league's Eastern Conference against star players from the Western Conference.
Defending champion performs drone-assisted dunk
The NBA All-Star Weekend was held at the Smoothie King Centre in New Orleans.
In the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, 21-year old Orlando Magic player Aaron Gordon, the defending champion, performed a slick dunk with a high-flying drone-assisted shot.
The feat required intimate communication between man and machine, and while the dunk was Gordon's skill, the drone came from Intel's Sports division.
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Meet Intel's 360 Replay Technology
For basketball fans around the globe watching the event from home, Intel had another surprise - the 360 Replay Technology.
Combining footage from more than 30 5K cameras in 360 Replay-enabled venues, the technology captures whatever is happening on the field and renders it into a 3D model which allows viewers an immersive replay of any moment of a game from any angle.
Virtual reality and the NBA
Intel's 360 Replay Technology is complemented by Voke VR, a VR live-streaming company which Intel recently purchased.
While Voke VR is still working to get content from sports organization on their platform, another company called NextVR already has exclusive live-streaming rights from NBA.
NextVR has scaled up to a point where it can live-stream big events like the NBA All-Star Game through VR headsets.
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