The NBA and Adam Silver have ‘mind boggling’ plans for VR, and it starts this All-Star weekend
This weekend promises a lot of high-flying action with celebrities and athletes alike taking the court for the NBA’s annual midseason celebration of talent. With so much buzz in the room, it can be hard for the average fan to get a decent seat to the game. Or at least it used to be. This year, thanks to Samsung and BigLook360, you will get a never before possible view of the game as long as you have access to a Gear VR.
Adam Silver, the NBA’s new commissioner, has been making a lot of waves lately be it talking about legalizing gambling on sports, or giving the playoff structure a ‘fresh look,’ Silver has shown he’s willing to take big bets to move the league forward. One of those major initiatives is going to be a huge technology push from the NBA, and virtual reality appears to be leading the way.
This year’s All-Star game will prominently feature BigLook360’s camera setups, likely going beyond the “courtside experience” and going all over the court, if Silver’s comments suggest anything. At a conference earlier this year Silver spoke about VR saying, “in some ways, it may be better than the courtside experience because you’re not only courtside but you’re on the court, you’re above the court and you’re sitting on the basket – it’s absolutely mind-boggling.” If these comments suggest anything, its that we will be getting a very unique look at the All-Star weekend’s festivities.
The NBA also held a panel at its annual technology summit this year about wearable technology in the NBA. Highlighting the panel were Jason Rubin of Oculus and Gregory Lee of Samsung. These panels are very carefully put together, so the presence of two companies with VR ties on that panel is extremely exciting.
Previously, Samsung announced at CES that Milk VR would be carrying NBA content. Virtual Reality livestreaming specialists, NextVR also filmed a 3D courtside experience during the preseason. These early efforts appear to be just the beginning. Now I am just going to keep my fingers crossed that we get someone doing a dunk in the dunk contest in passthrough on the Gear VR.