California-based basketball team the LA Clippers recently launched a beta of an exciting new AR app. While it is currently available to very few basketball fans, it could soon change the way we watch the sport.
What is CourtVision?
CourtVision takes a regular basketball game and augments the video feed with additional graphics. These graphics are calculated and displayed in near real time. Some of the graphics are similar to those that are often a part of football broadcasts. Others are similar to those that are often included in replays. Graphics include names of players and their percent probability of making a shot.
The AR app also allows users to choose between several different camera views. Additionally, users can switch between play-by-play and natural court audio settings.
How Can You Get It?
Right now, the LA Clippers are the only team using this technology. The beta is only available to people who pay for other subscriptions for LA Clippers content. Fox Sports is the currently the only service that supports the AR app.
Currently available on both Apple and Android devices, it is unclear how long the beta period is expected to last. It is also not clear how the app will be available once its leave beta.
If you have access to the beta through the Fox Sports app, you don’t even need to wait until the next LA Clippers game. A number of previously aired games are available to watch with the added features of CourtVision. This gives an opportunity to explore the AR app without being distracted from a live game.
How Did It Happen?
CourtVision is a combination of sports and technology created by fans of both. The AR app is being developed by Second Spectrum, a young startup specializing in AR and AI. These technologies allow the calculation and display of graphic information.
Second Spectrum has been officially involved with the National Basketball Association for two years. However, a more intimate partnership was required to bring CourtVision to mobile devices.
That’s where Steve Ballmer comes in. Ballmer is the owner of the LA Clippers. He is also a former member of technology giant Microsoft. Long interested in interactive entertainment, Ballmer was instrumental in the development of the AR app. He’s also not interested in keeping it all to himself. Ballmer has instead been encouraging other team owners to develop similar technology.
Right now, availability of CourtVision is very limited. The fans of other teams would also certainly like a similar app for their own teams.
No doubt other sports teams are watching the CourtVision beta and wondering whether it is the future of sports viewing.