Immersion is the key word in 2017: On Sunday during Super Bowl 51, you'll have an opportunity to see what the players see on the field, Fox Sports has revealed.
During the big game on Sunday, Fox Sports broadcasters will premiere a "Be the Player" view, which will show a "point-of-view perspective from any player on the field." The technology will achieve that without ever attaching a physical camera to the individual player.
According to Fox Sports, it's collaborating with Intel on the camera view. Intel is stitching together an array of cameras to create a "virtual camera" that meets the player's eyeline and approximates what the player might be seeing at any moment.
"The cameras, backed up by a huge bank of Intel computing power, allow a moment to be recreated in 3D space, so that a ‘virtual camera’ can be placed at the player’s eye line -- not unlike how limitless camera views can be created in video games," Fox Sports senior vice president of field and technical operations Michael Davies said in a statement.
The big game now features a slew of cameras around the stadium that provide a host of angles and views. But over the years, a camera that shows exactly what the player is seeing at any moment has been elusive. And since wearing cameras might be dangerous, this seems like a pretty ingenious workaround.
Using virtual approximation technology, Intel believes it can deliver a whole new layer of immersion. And if it works, Davies argues that it could provide a new perspective to viewers on the challenges and opportunities a player faces during the game.
"This broadcast enhancement is like no other -- it literally brings the audience down to the viewpoint of the player at the critical decision-making moment. What other choices did he have? Was his sight blocked?" Davies said. "It all looks much different from field level, and can assist our announcers in describing what actually happened on the field."
Super Bowl 51 kicks off on Sunday, with the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Fox Sports says it will have more Super Motion and 4K cameras than ever at the game. And more than 70 cameras will be shooting the action.