NFL stadiums give fans at home 3D experience

Eleven NFL American football stadiums have linked up with US technology giant Intel to offer 3D viewing experiences for fans watching from home.

Through Intel’s acquisition of Israel’s Replay Technologies, it now provides the freeD service, a 360-degree immersive look at the field and players’ perspectives that is streamed to TV viewers.

Intel has installed 38 ultra HD cameras at each of the 11 stadiums that capture the action and deliver it to fans in 3D through the NFL website, YouTube channel and mobile app. Within the stadiums, the technology will provide ticket-holders with enhanced replays to get a closer look at the action.

The teams that have the technology installed already include the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings.

“Seeing key plays up close and from new perspectives is redefining what it means to watch the game,” said James Carwana, general manager of Intel Sports.

In addition, each sporting venue is equipped with Intel Xeon servers that process up to one terabyte of data per 15- to 30-second clip. The data from the video is then fed through fibre-optic cables where a production team virtually recreates the selected clip in 3D. This allows fans to be taken “into the game” from angles traditional cameras can’t reach.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is trying to find ways of implementing augmented reality (AR) into its fan experience technology offering. The league is testing a number of ways AR can be integrated into its apps, such as labelling player positions and showing statistics.

The technology is getting primed to launch during the 2018 season, using Apple’s technology ARKit and Statcast which offers an array of data from radar and optical sensors.MLB AR

Images: Intel