HOW MANY NBA FANS WOULD WANT TO WATCH, EXPERIENCE AND INTERACT WITH THE TOP 10 SLAM DUNKS OF NEXT SEASON?
By capturing the motion data from a live NBA Slam Dunk Contest and scanning the players, we’re able to recreate those moments in 3D VR and AR and make them available to fans on mobile, console and PC platforms. Fans could walk around the player as they make the shot. They could freeze the action and walk around, interact with the player in slow-motion, and see the shot from every conceivable angle as many times as they like.
Better yet we can send fans back in time for some of the greatest dunks of all time. Imagine being there for Michael Jordan’s dunk from the free-throw line in 1988, or the 42 inch vertical leap made by Spud Webb in 1986, or be there with Jason Richardson as he makes his between-the-legs behind-the-head dunk in 2003. We can create digital 3D avatars of the greatest players in NBA history and bring them life again using a mixture of real time motion data and animation.
This is only possible with VR and computer image technology. It’s an experience of a real event that you would be impossible to achieve in reality. We call this ‘Reality+’.
The NBA Experience of the Future
Imagine you have a courtside seat at the biggest game of the year. You’ve paid a lot of money to be there. You’re up close to the action but something is missing. Sports broadcasters have done an amazing job of enriching the experience from the comfort of your own home - multiple camera angles, instant replay, slow-motion, second-by-second statistical analysis - pretty much every piece of information pertaining to the sport, the game and that moment is available to fans. What if you could combine these two different experiences in a way that would far exceed both?
SO NOW YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE VIRTUAL NBA BASKETBALL GAME, WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
It looks pretty much like the live NBA game - the only difference is now you get to play god. You can step onto the court, step right into the game without disturbing the players (they will simply pass right through you).
- You can instantly teleport yourself to anywhere on the court or to anywhere in the arena.
- If you missed a crucial play or want to experience it again, you can simply stop the action, go back in time and start again. Slow it down or speed it up.
- You can call up motion capture data to analyse every single move players make on the court and chart the trajectory of the ball. Every single piece of information pertaining to the game is at your disposal.
- You could shift perspective. Instead of being life-sized you could shrink the whole court down to the size of coffee table and walk around it.
- In the virtual realm you’re no longer just a sports fan, you’re the master of time and space! And you need not experience this alone - just like multi-player video games like Call Of Duty, you can interact with your friends or other fans.
If you were to create this experience in AR then you could have the same experience but now you’re sitting with your friends around a scaled down version of the game happening in 3D in front of you live, in realtime. The next generation of HMD’s (head mounted devices) will probably have the ability to switch between augmented and virtual reality, giving you the best of all worlds.
THIS EXPERIENCE IS BEYOND MOST PEOPLE’S WILDEST IMAGINATION BUT WE ARE CLOSE TO THIS BECOMING A REALITY, AND AT A COST AS LOW AS CURRENT TELEVISION SUBSCRIPTION RATES.
(below) Current generation technology from Replay Technologies. A single frame from an array of multiple cameras is morphed in 2D to form a blend between images. The still image can be used to rotate the virtual camera only between several existing real cameras on a fixed path. Though impressive, this technique is limited to a single frame that 'stops time' and is not sequential. The down side of this technique is that it is only 2D and is not immersive 3D, therefore can not be utilized for future proofing the action in new 3D mediums such as Virtual Reality.
(below) The next generation of capturing amazing performances is based on a proprietary technology that records the action and processes an array of cameras into 3D computer generated images that can be seen from any angle. This video illustrates a demonstration of a limited array of computer vision cameras that reconstruct the complete action of the athletes or performers. The process has been developed for European Soccer events and utilizes a real-time computational system to allow free moving virtual cameras. Once the action is recorded in full 3D, this can be viewed in Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality on current or future devices.
(below) Next generation motion capture system that does not use markers. Instead, an array of cameras record the surface of multiple subjects and reconstructs the biomechanics of their skeletal structure in real--time. This animation data can be applied to high resolution 3D avatars of the performers which are downloaded at an earlier time. The data can be streamed in real-time to the viewer as either VR or AR content. This information can be used for coaching / training or modeling complex biomechanics of forces on athletes joints.