Intel invests in the digitisation of sports by buying Replay for $175m

9 Mar 2016

Intel has acquired an Israel-based start-up called Replay Technologies that makes it possible to watch live video from almost any angle

Intel may soon enable TV viewers to enjoy sporting events from any angle after it emerged it has acquired Israel-based Replay Technologies for $175m.

Tel Aviv-based Replay Technologies’ freed format uses high-resolution cameras and intensive computer graphics to let viewers experience sporting events from any angle.

The move is part of a strategy that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is driving around the “digitisation of sports”.

Replay’s technology was showcased during the recent NBA All-Star Weekend where freed technology was used to create seamless 3D-video rendering of the court using 28 ultra-high-definition cameras positioned around the arena and connected to Intel-based servers.

‘Technology now plays an unprecedented role in sports … and we’re just getting started’

“This system allowed broadcasters to give fans a 360-degree view of key plays – providing thrilling replays and highlight reels that let fans see the slam dunks, blocks and steals from almost every conceivable angle,” explained Wendell Brooks, president of Intel Capital and senior vice president of Intel Corporation.

“Intel has been collaborating with Replay since 2013 to optimise their interactive, immersive video content on Intel platforms.”

Witness games from every angle

Replay was founded in 2011 by CEO Oren Yogev, CTO Mateo Shapira and COO Aviv Shapiro and employs 100 people.

“Together, we will scale this new category for sports entertainment that we call immersive sports, which is attracting the attention of leagues, venues, broadcasters and fans,” Brooks said.

“Immersive sports requires the high-performance computing Intel is known for, and it’s also data driven – fueling the continued build out of the cloud. For athletes, coaches, broadcasters and fans, the ability to capture, analyse and share data adds compelling new dimensions to the game.

“Technology now plays an unprecedented role in sports … and we’re just getting started.”

Slam dunk image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years