Did you watch the Wimbledon tournament or any World Cup games this year? Tennis, soccer, football, skiing and beach volleyball are just a few of the many sporting events live broadcasted on televisions around the world each day. Sporting events bring fans together in households, restaurants and bars for group cheering or friendly competition, giving them the opportunity to engage with games and tournaments without physically being there. The sports broadcasting industry has undergone revolutionary innovations with technology developments that help create a better experience for fans. The good news is, the best is yet to come! More companies than ever before are actively working on developing a more immersive sports viewing experience .

 

Looking back at the industry’s past developments

In the early 20th century, prior to the creation of television broadcasting, sports fans were limited to hearing live reports from radio jockeys and had no visual aspects past their own imagination to rely on when visualizing the game. In 1939, NBC pulled off the first-ever television broadcast of a sport: baseball! The camera that captured this game panned back and forth between the pitcher and the catcher to try and film the ball – can you imagine? Color TV broadcasting hit the masses in 1955, giving viewers a more “real” feeling that mimicked the human eye. This was the start to technology advancements that created a more immersive experience for sports fans everywhere. In 1955, we were granted the option to see playbacks, quickly followed by “slo-mo,” which debuted in 1956. ESPN’s inception dates back to 1979, when they turned sports broadcasting into a full blown media company of its own. In 1998, we began to see the “1st and ten” digital lines that required 3D mapping and a complicated projection system, marking the start of advanced robotics within the sports broadcasting industry. From then on, we saw high definition resolution, live sports streaming on the Internet and 3D television technologies.

 

What is the industry lacking?

While the industry has come a long way, we still notice a gap when looking at the technology available within the sports broadcasting industry when compared with other spaces. Artificial intelligence (AI) has begun entering the sports industry in the form of chatbots to keep consumers up to speed on their favorite NBA teams, computer vision to ensure NASCAR drivers’ safety and wearable technology to maximize training and conditioning in boxing. Camera technology used in sports broadcasting has gotten quicker, crisper and more seamless to use in recent years. Now, what we need to see are technologies that focus on creating a more immersive experience for at-home sports fans. Consumers want to feel like they are in the game, and we need to advance technology to help replicate that feeling.

 

Innovations are on the horizon

Here at Altia Systems, we pride ourselves in being at the industry forefront with innovative and immersive solutions that are better than anything you’ve ever seen before. Our camera technology serves the purpose of mimicking the in-person, human experience, without having to be physically present, and we’ve developed a range of 4K, 5K, 180° panoramic, 3D, VR and computer vision-driven technologies that do just that. We recently debuted PanaCast Live, a fully integrated, portable, professional 3D video system that’s being used by Intel Sports to enable live broadcasting of 180° 4K 3D video, creating a closer-to-the-action virtual reality viewing experience for consumers worldwide. Check out the full details here!

We look forward to seeing what other innovations are coming our way in sports tech, and are thrilled to be a part of this massive wave of emerging technologies.

 

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