Very few people have likely either seen or heard of VR sports at this point, but that hasn’t stopped Intel from quickly snapping up its second startup, Voke, to lock up what it calls “immersive sports experiences.”
Intel said Thursday that it has bought Voke, described as a leader in bringing “live, virtual reality experiences to consumers.” “Imagine being able to witness a slam dunk from the defender’s perspective or the defensive rush from the quarterback’s perspective,” James Carwana, the general manager of Intel’s Sports Group, wrote in a blog post. “This kind of experience may sound futuristic, but it’s closer than you think.”
Voke uses an array of paired-lens, stereoscopic cameras to capture events like the Final Four and New York’s Fashion Week, then allows users to hopscotch around them to view the action from their choice of perspective.
That’s somewhat similar to Intel’s second VR acqusition, Replay Technologies, which Intel bought in March. Replay uses what it calls “freeD” cameras scattered around a basketball court, and combines the video inside Intel’s own servers. The aggregated, stitched-together video feed essentially turns a live feed of a basketball game into a live 3D model of the action, which users can also rotate or zoom in and out of to experience the action as they want. It appears that Voke’s technology may be used to provide more realistic video images that could be later stitched together using the Replay technology.