Replay Technologies is the company that created freeD technology, which is the camera system that gives the viewer a 360 degree view of the action. It was demonstrated at the last NBA All-Star game. It features the latest generation 3D graphics. freeD stands for free dimensional video.
The 3D representation of the live action is constructed in real-time. Every angle is covered and you can decide which one to watch from. The perspective moves around the action, so the optimal view can be selected. It’s easy to find the perspective that is pleasing to the eye. It’s also possible to view the action from a first-person perspective.
According to Tech News World, the filming method relies on an array of cameras and software to combine all the angles together. The process of combining video into a seamless 360 degree tour requires a lot of processing power. The freeD demonstration at the NBA All-Star game utilized 28 ultraHD cameras and Intel servers. The broadcasters were able to show replays of the game at nearly any angle within a few seconds of the play.
Intel plans to develop ‘immersive sports’ with freeD technology. The market for immersive sports is growing, considering the numerous options available to sports fans. Smart TVs, smartphones, and social media interactions have made sports much more social, even if no one else is in the room. Everyone can comment about sports online. Adding 3D to the viewing experience will make it even more immersive. Now, with the ability to change the camera perspective of plays and review it in-depth, watching sports will never be the same again.
There was one online streaming website (probably NBA league pass) that let viewers select the camera view they wanted to watch. The choices included watching your favorite player, watching from a floor perspective, and watching from a overhead view. This was great, and more people would use the feature.
The only problem with freeD is that the audience is reliant on the person or computer program to control the perspective. This affects the viewing experience. In fact, when the perspective is altered in real-time as the audience is watching, it might create a disorienting effect, and the perspective chosen to view the sequence might be too intense for the viewer to watch. The effect is comparable to 3D television, where the screen is no longer a limitation of the movie, TV show, or sporting event.