Friday, September 05, 2008
Just look at that picture above. Now I don't know about you, but that looks like both the coolest and cheesiest thing I've ever seen. ESPN has apparently been working with EA Sports for awhile now, and tabbed the video game in coming with a virtual playing field of sorts. And according to the NY Times you'll start to see analysts interacting with the Sports holograms in the coming days and months....
Boiled down, the complex technology, which will make its debut this Sunday on ESPN’s popular “NFL Countdown” program, involves using an Electronic Arts’ title — say Madden NFL 09 — with specialized digital camera equipment in the studio. Presto: Both real and virtual people move around the ESPN set to demonstrate plays and possible situations.In theory the idea is amazing, but when's the last time you saw a good 3-D anything? Every movie made comes out looking crappy and every person in them ends up looking like a glorified Weather Man. I hope it works out for them though, mainly just because I hate those pointless mini fields. They're finally putting those things to good use.
And the sports behemoth has more ambitious plans down the road. Instead of using the technology, called EA Sports Virtual Playbook, to tell viewers what to look for before games, ESPN wants to use it in reverse to play the ultimate Monday morning quarterback.
Using real information from a game, ESPN anchors could reprogram an actual sequence to show, for example, what would have happened had Peyton Manning thrown right instead of left.
I'll try to have video of the technology up after it debuts this Sunday.
At ESPN, Play-by-Play Goes Virtual (NY Times)
(Thanks to IB for the tip)