Orad Makes EA SPORTS Virtual Playbook Available Outside of U.S., UK
The Orad Hi-Tec Systems booth at NAB will offer attendees an up-close look at the EA Sports Virtual Playbook system. More importantly, the technology will be available to all broadcasters outside of the U.S. or UK interested in re-creating specific sports situations (the system is exclusive to ESPN in the U.S. and UK). The system uses core EA Sports game technology to generate an “augmented reality” that provides unique insight, education and analysis on key plays and techniques.
Broadcasters can use the system to enhance their sports broadcasts and allow in-studio hosts to analyze plays and game conditions alongside virtual players before the match, highlighting formations and scenarios, and providing viewers with a new level of connection to the beautiful game.
The physical in-studio or on-field camera and the virtual game camera are tied together, ensuring that every one of the physical camera’s movements automatically affects the virtual camera in real time. The composite of the digital and physical elements enables the real-life TV hosts to interact with the virtual football players within the broadcast whether they are in-studio or on location.
Avi Sharir, CEO and president of Orad, says, “This synergy between our two leading-edge companies will provide broadcasters a new and exciting way to develop immersive, rich broadcasts, appealing to a broad demographic of viewers.”
“EA SPORTS Virtual Playbook has already expanded the impact of our innovative technology beyond videogames and helped to demonstrate our leadership in sports entertainment,” adds Todd Sitrin, group vice-president of marketing with EA SPORTS. “We’re excited to work with Orad to bring an entirely new level of excitement and realism to football broadcasting globally.”
EA SPORTS Virtual Playbook is created using feeds from in-studio real-world cameras as well as an in-game camera that captures EA SPORTS in-game graphics depicting real game scenarios. The real-world studio and game images of virtual characters are combined to create the effect of “augmented reality” — virtual players appearing in the studio alongside real life hosts and analysts. Both real and virtual people are able to move realistically around the studio set to demonstrate plays and scenarios. The system accommodates, and in fact is controlled by, the multiple real-world cameras that are typical in today’s sports analysis television programs.