Intel is already pushing into the areas of virtual and augmented reality using its RealSense 3D camera technology, but now the company aims to increase its focus on sports event coverage with the acquisition of Tel Aviv-based startup Replay Technologies.
The Isreali firm recently teamed up with Intel to show off its Matrix-like, 360-degree Free Dimensional Video system (FreeD) for the slam-dunk competition at this year’s NBA All-Star games.
This ‘bullet time’ was created by Replay using Intel’s server technology and 28 ultra high-definition cameras placed around the arena. Check out the amazing effect in the video below. It does get a bit pixelated at times, but Intel said it will improve this.
Precise financial details of the deal have not been revealed, but sources believe that Intel will pay $175 million for the acquisition, which has been in the works for the last six months.
"Intel has been collaborating with Replay since 2013 to optimize their interactive, immersive video content on Intel platforms. As a natural next step in our collaboration, today we’re excited to announce that Intel signed an agreement to acquire Replay Technologies,” said Intel SVP Wendell Brooks in a blog post.
Intel says it wants to create "a new category for sports entertainment that we call immersive sports, which is attracting the attention of leagues, venues, broadcasters and fans.”
In addition to giving broadcasters more options for the content they show, Intel hopes this technology could ultimately help lead to a VR /AR system where viewers feel almost as if they are at the event and will be able to view the action from any angle.
Replay Technologies CEO Oren Yogev said in a statement, “We are extremely excited with this transaction, which we believe will be a winning proposition for everyone involved. The strategic fit between our two companies is a powerful combination; the Replay team is enthusiastic about joining Intel. This transaction will allow us to accelerate Replay’s advanced technology plans, offer advanced services to our clients and provide increased opportunities to our employees.”