The NBA Keeps Exploring New Virtual and Mixed Reality Opportunities

The future of sports entertainment consumption may effectively lie in the hands of VR companies and service providers Even the NBA is now banking big on VR technology for its upcoming All-Star Weekend. More specifically, we see a lot of players train in VR as of right now, even while they are at the regular practice court. A very interesting turn of events, although this may very well be the beginning of what is yet to come.

NBA has High Expectations for Virtual Reality

What makes the most recent training session by NBA star Bradley Beal so interesting is how he wore a VR headset while shooting free throws. Even though you’d expect him to do that kind of things with his eyes closed, there was a purpose to this trial. More specifically, it is a VR headset built by Verizon and offers 5G connectivity. This will help reduce overall latency introduce with virtual reality, as Verizon claims the speeds will be up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

While wearing the VR headset. Beal was sable to determine whether or not this 5G connectivity is an improvement. He was effectively watching himself through the eyes of a cameraman who was filming him at the same time/ The entire experience was frictionless and the signal transmitted incredibly fast. Beal was later on joined by Anthony Davis for some more free throws and three-point shots later on, all the while wearing this virtual reality headset.

NBA’s Adam Silver explained their decision as follows:

“The challenge for this league is how can we then bring that experience to our well over a billion fans around the world who will never get a chance to see a game in person. So technology and creating a more immersive experience for fans is something that we spend a lot of time on at the league office.”

The main reason why this trial was conducted is to bring a new NBA entertainment experience to virtual reality. Viewers will get access to an image quality as if it was perceived with their own eyes from within the stadium itself. All of this will be done in real-time, and will effectively improve the relationship between the NBA and its fans. Growing the league and transitioning it into this era of technology is one of the top priorities. Virtual reality, and later on mixed reality, are two industries the NBA is genuinely interested in exploring.

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