Intel has acquired Israeli 3D video specialist Replay Technologies in a move to bring its enterprise technology into sport broadcasting.
Repay Technologies and Intel have been partners since 2013. Their most recent project involved 360-degree broadcasts of the NBA All-Star Weekend, specifically in the Slam Dunk contest where basketball players pull off spectacular shots.
The company's proprietary freeD 3D video rendering format uses 28 ultra high-definition cameras and computational power from Intel's servers to broadcast the contest in a way that provides a 360-degree view of the dunks.
Wendell Brooks, president of Intel Capital, explained that the purchase of Replay will see Intel scale up the use of freeD to create what it call "immersive sports" for broadcasters and fans.
"Immersive sports requires the high-performance computing Intel is known for, and it's also data driven, fuelling the continued build out of the cloud. For athletes, coaches, broadcasters and fans, the ability to capture, analyse and share data adds compelling new dimensions to the game," he said.
"As part of Intel, the team will focus on growing their existing business and advancing their technology with Intel to deliver faster freeD processing and new features like the ability to manipulate and edit personalised content."
Intel's acquisition of Replay, for an undisclosed sum, is an attempt to further develop 3D broadcasting, and shows how companies are exploring the use of new digital technology and related hardware to provide enhanced services to customers and audiences.
360-degree broadcasts could, for example, provide web broadcasts in documentaries or travel programmes, while companies could showcase products, designs and even financial results in a more interactive and engaging way.
The Amba Hotel in London's Marble Arch already does something similar with a virtual reality app and headset that allows potential clients to get an interactive tour of the hotel's facilities even if they are in a different country.
IBM is another company exploring the use of cutting-edge digital technologies in traditional industries, and has created a Watson-powered robot concierge for a Hilton hotel.
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