Intel is giving three Premier League football stadiums a big camera upgrade.
The technology giant will be bringing its True View camera technology to the Emirates Stadium, Anfield and the Etihad Stadium – the homes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City respectively – allowing an unprecedented range of angles for TV viewers.
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This means that from March 10, broadcasters will have a lot more flexibility when it comes to picking the best angle to replay key moments. Intel’s 38 5K cameras allow for footage to be viewed from any angle imaginable – including from a player’s perspective, offering insights previously inferred by chatty pundits.
The potential is certainly there. As Intel says in its press release: “Imagine watching a season-defining moment, then reliving it from any angle including from the perspective of your favourite player as they run up to take a penalty or make an improbable goal-line clearance.”
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other functions include laser wall – a virtual plane that gives fans a “clear picture as to where players are positioned on the pitch” – and 360-degree replays. That should make inevitable VAR debate a bit more heated − exactly what we all need…
The video below gives you more of an idea of how this could work in practice:
The technical requirements of this are really quite something. The 38 5K cameras capture volumetric data of the pitch including height, width and depth, to produce voxels (or “pixels with volume”). That data is then fed into servers powered by Intel’s Core i7 and Xeon processors, where all the viewpoints are recreated.
Of course, how well this technology is actually used is very much down to the broadcasters (and the three clubs in question, which have permission to use the footage on social media a few hours after their games). At its best, you can imagine this as being genuinely game-changing, but at its least imaginative, a gimmick that gets in the way of the actual match.
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There’s also the not insignificant fact that the technology is only in three stadiums, so limited to just 15% of all the Premiership fixtures in a given season. Still, if the technology is there, widely used and popular with fans, there’s no reason to think that it wouldn’t be extended further.
Are you excited for this technology or does it seem like a gimmick? Let us know what you think on Twitter @TrustedReviews.