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By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

March 9, 2016 | 3 min read

In recent years, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest lacked panache. The high bar was generally reserved for players from a bygone era, including Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Dominique Wilkins, Spud Webb, Nate Robinson, Dwight Howard and, more recently Blake Griffin, who made his way over a Kia (one of the NBA’s league sponsors) in the 2011 version of the contest. However, the 2016 contest in Toronto was spectacular with Minnesota’s Zach LaVine and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon putting on an aerial display for the ages. Like heavyweight boxers landing haymakers, they went back and forth until LaVine ended up eking out the win to defend his title. (Note: Gordon was ROBBED — I’m talking to you, Shaq.)

Though what happened on the court was amazing, adding a significant technological layer to the event made the feats that much more eye-popping. Replay Technologies “free dimensional” technology offered a highly immersive 3D and 360-degree lift to, not just the dunk contest, but the entire NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto.

The “freeD” technology was supported by Intel — and it was announced today that the Santa Clara, California-based company acquired the Israel-based Replay Technologies to further raise their profile in sports. Israeli business publication Globes reported that the company was purchased for $175m.

“Together, we will scale this new category for sports entertainment that we call immersive sports, which is attracting the attention of leagues, venues, broadcasters and fans,” noted an Intel blog post from Wendell Brooks. “Immersive sports requires the high-performance computing Intel is known for, and it’s also data driven – fueling the continued build out of the cloud. For athletes, coaches, broadcasters and fans, the ability to capture, analyze and share data adds compelling new dimensions to the game.

As of now, the technology is being focused on sports, though there may very well be other applications for the technology as it continues to mature.

Source: Sport Techie

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