With social distancing, it means that things we used to do might no longer be possible, at least for the moment. This includes attending large gatherings like an NBA game. But, if you do enjoy the feel of being in an arena with NBA fans who share your obsession, Microsoft might have the answer.
Teaming with the NBA, Microsoft will be using AI and technology to help seat fans in virtual stadiums so that they can watch the game together through the use of Microsoft Teams. The AI will help detect you and will crop you from the shoulder up. This will create an avatar.
The NBA stadiums will be equipped with 17-foot video boards that will surround the court to help give players the illusion that there are people in attendance. The NBA says, “Additionally, all viewers will have the ability to impact visual effects in the venue through a virtual cheering experience. Fans can digitally cheer for their team through the NBA App and NBA.com and on Twitter using team hashtags throughout the game. Virtual cheering will be reflected on the video boards in-venue with graphics and animations that capture the level of fan engagement around the world.”
This sounds like it could be pretty fun, but sports enthusiasts might not agree, but from a tech aspect it sounds like it could open up all kinds of doors in the future, where it could allow fans from other countries to tune in and feel like they’re part of the experience. Cool.