next generation basketball
Today the generation of kids getting their hands on a basketball for the first time are probably the first generation where video games are their biggest reference point. There’s nothing ‘new’ about new media, it’s just the world as they know it. This generation has more ways to access and consume sports than any generation before it. Ironically, as a consequence, they also have less motivation to become physically involved in sports.
VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) is about to enter our kids lives in a big way. But unlike other technological advances VR has the potential to motivate kids, bridge the gap between the gaming culture and the physical world of sports, and get them back on the court playing the game.
IN AS LITTLE AS 5 YEARS Virtual Reality AND Augmented Reality TECHNOLOGIES WILL PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN OUR DAILY LIVES.
The Future of Sports Entertainment
Courtside tickets to the NBA Finals has got to be every basketball fan’s dream. Only a tiny percentage of fans are lucky enough to experience this but in the not too distant future this experience will be available to every basketball fan across the world.
Companies like NextVR have already demonstrated how live sporting events can be streamed in VR using 360 degree video to create the possibility of an “infinite seat”, a courtside seat that can be sold an infinite number of times. Impressive as 360 video is, the technology has one insurmountable flaw - it’s not interactive. The viewer’s perspective is restricted to where the camera is placed - it’s not possible to move around and interact with the players and environment.
The solution? Computer image technology.
CGI (computer generated imagery) and video game technology have radically changed the entertainment landscape, creating some of the most profitable consumer products on the planet. The movie Avatar generated over $1.5bn in revenue and the Call Of Duty video game franchise has generated over $12bn and continues to grow at a rate of $1.5bn for every title released. Both of these products only became possible with the advent of advanced performance capture technologies and computer generated characters.
IN THE MID TO LONG TERM, 360 HD VIDEO WILL HAVE A DECLINING SIGNIFICANCE AS IT IS SUPERSEDED BY VASTLY MORE POWERFUL TECHNOLOGY.
The ‘gamification’ of sports is already underway.
Video games like FIFA, Madden and NBA Live not only generate huge revenues they also offer new and enriched forms of engagement for sports fans. With the rapid growth of virtual reality technologies this trend is set to accelerate.
It is now possible to capture a live sporting event in real time with performance capture technology and, using CG photo-realistic avatars, recreate the event in virtual or augmented reality. Not only can we create a courtside “infinite seat” as with 360 degree video, computer image technology can do something even more remarkable. You can be courtside, be on court itself as the game happens around you and even experience the game through the eyes of one of the participants, live, in realtime, as it happens. This can only be achieved by using computer image technology.
Many analysts are predicting that AR (augmented reality) will have an even bigger significance for sports than VR. Only content created with performance capture and computer image technology can be utilized for AR.