Intel was already into the camera business with its 3D RealSense cameras, used in some high-end laptops, tablets and Google’s Project Tango. Without any preceding rumours, Intel has just announced that it has acquired Replay Technologies, a move that marks its foray into sports broadcasting business. The company uses a unique 3D video rendering feature called “Free dimensional” or “freeD” video.
The technology definitely has a much broader use than sports events as far as Intel is concerned. Replay Technologies offered a new service which lets viewers watch some moments of a game with a 360 degree view, the central figure or person is shown from all sides in a fluid continuous motion. These 360 degrees views of the players were seen in some recent cricket, basketball, tennis and football games.
One of the reasons that Intel found this company interesting is that not only is it a “cool and increasingly popular feature”, but because it is computer-intensive. The process of making these 360 degree videos requires quite a few Intel servers. In fact, in one of the recent basketball games, Replay used 28 ultra-high definition cameras, placed them around the court and used Intel-based servers to create a seamless 3D video.
Companies and consumers are moving towards fewer PCs and servers which has led Intel to bring new features to its processing chips. Intel is looking to add 3D rendering to its processors for external viewing, like the above-mentioned scenario, and virtual reality, which is gaining in popularity coming up as a good market opportunity for the chip-maker.
The purchase also presents a chance for Intel to enter the media market. Popularity of companies like Replay shows that the media industry is looking for new ways to keep its viewers entertained. Most of the popular sporting leagues are looking for unique methods of engagement, representing a business opportunity for Intel.
There has been no official word on the money involved in the acquisition of the Israeli company. However, Globes Publication Israel has quoted an amount of $175 million. If the quoted price proves correct, the investors got a good return on their investment, with a $22.5 million worth Replay Technologies being acquired for $175 million.