Virtual technology changes sports events?

From March 10th, fans of the three Premier League giants in Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City will have a new experience when they watch the game at home. Thanks to a technology called “TrueView” (real perspective), fans can view any position of the course from a 360° perspective, or experience the player’s view on the court from a “player perspective.”

TrueView technology was developed by a well-known chip company Intel. Only three years after Intel officially entered the sports world, it has become a hot technology player.

Starting from extreme sports
At the Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show in early 2016, Intel invited a group of BMX and ski masters to release a data recording module called “Curie.” Curie can be used to implant skateboards, running shoes, glasses, sports underwear, collect data from athletes’ physical conditions and movement characteristics, for “sports effect guidance” (explore solutions to further improve technology), “sport safety monitoring” (in Intervention before the injury occurs, or quickly find the root cause after the injury occurs), “enhance the experience of watching the game”. This is the first step in Intel’s sports market.

In March 2016, Intel acquired Replay Technologies for $1.14 billion, which is the source of 360° playback of “Black Technology”. In November of the same year, Intel took the virtual reality technology company Voke in unpublished figures and invested in the immersive VR Red Sea.

At that time, it was the time when the concept of VR (“Virtual Reality”) was popular. The VR products HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on the two major PC platforms have appeared, and the game industry also has PSVR, which is specially designed for the game console “PlayStation 4”. In addition to VR devices, VR applications are also thriving.

Today, the VR market is raging, and some followers have been rushed. The brands in the left-behind industry are no longer exposed as frequently as they were a few years ago. Take NextVR as an example. At the end of 2015, the company produced the first VR broadcast in NBA history. It was a sensation. Four years later, NextVR developed a bunch of new customers such as racing games and record companies, but these customers counted Not a big name for a big name.

Intel is not sticking to the VR tree. Since 2016, Intel has announced every year that it has worked with heavyweight partners. In the NBA, NFL, La Liga and even the Olympic Games, and now in the Premier League, Intel frequently produces volume in the name of “immersion experience.”

Substitute player perspective
VR is undoubtedly a very distinctive solution in the immersive experience. Putting on the device, fans can “walk through” from their living room to the front row of well-known sports venues such as Staples Center or Camp Nou, to achieve the “immersive” effect. However, Intel has given the immersion a more experience.

Taking this collaboration with the Premier League, the TrueView technology brings three experiences. One is 360° playback. This is probably the most iconic product of Intel’s current sports industry. The audience can freely drag and rotate the broadcast picture to observe the exciting situation of the game from multiple angles. In the field of football, Intel first cooperated with La Liga to launch 360° playback. This has become the iconic selling point of La Liga’s broadcast technology – even the well-known football game “FIFA” series, players can only see 360 ​​° playback when playing the game of the La Liga team.

The “player perspective” is just a modified statement. The real principle is to put the 360° image in a specific position.

Intel developed 3D athlete tracking technology

The Premier League has always been the “most developed football league in business development”, but has never been a leader in the development of broadcasting technology. Now the Premier League has finally ushered in the first show of 360° playback, “to catch up with the pace of the times.” Intel promises that in addition to the live fans who can use their own mobile devices to experience 360° playback, the relevant picture signals will also be transmitted to the broadcaster, and the broadcaster will choose whether to use it.

360° playback is a mature product, and the second experience that TrueView brings to Premier League fans is a “new revolution” – a player perspective. Through the images automatically generated by the machine after analyzing the material, the fans can enter the perspective of the players on the field and feel the on-court environment from their perspective. This “first person to watch the ball” mode takes “immersive” to a new level. Especially those fans who want to learn how Ramsey, David Silva observes the situation of the stadium, or want to experience the full speed of Mane and Sterling’s full-speed running, the perspective of substitution is definitely unprecedented. it is good”.

In fact, the “player perspective” is just a modified statement. The real principle is to put the 360° image in a specific position. Because TrueView now has the ability to provide 360° images anywhere on the football field, players can generate 360° images of the location wherever they go. First, the player is positioned to obtain the screen information of the corresponding position, and then the scope of the human eye is combined to find a specific presentation angle, and the “player perspective” is generated.

Therefore, the “upgraded version” of the 360° screen technology can be applied not only to the player’s perspective but also to the referee’s perspective. Did the referee misjudge it? We may be able to see through the referee’s perspective whether his position at the time can really see the “case of the incident.” Of course, this technology can also play a role as a referee. The game is controversial? Immediately 360° review of the scene, clearly observe the autumn!

The third function of TrueView is the “laser wall”. The virtual wall generated by the algorithm helps to determine the location of the players, football and other competition participants. The audience can get a more intuitive understanding of the team formation. The related technology also has another application potential: to help the decision offside, whether the ball is over the line, who finally touched the ball and other details of the game.

Since the picture of TrueView needs to be calculated and generated, the more the picture needs to reflect the field, the more original material is needed. Intel installed 38 5K Ultra HD cameras at the home of the three clubs, and a game is expected to generate up to 200T of data! The huge amount of data ensures that TrueView can restore the picture with the “pixel” as the most basic unit – generating images with the specifications that you can’t wait for the “nail movement” to be restored. How amazing the details are!

Even the data is “fake”?
Overall, Intel is currently playing a “real and virtual” game in the sports world. The collected motion data is “real”, and the immersed image generated by the algorithm is “virtual”. However, in the future, even sports data may be obtained from the realm of “virtual”.

On the eve of the 2019 Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show, Intel and China’s Internet technology giant Alibaba announced that they have jointly developed the “Artificial Intelligence Athlete Tracking” technology. The 3D player tracking technology developed by Intel will be applied to Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure after optimization. Intel’s favorite Ultra HD camera comes in handy again for collecting footage. Thereafter, the artificial intelligence algorithm will construct a virtual stereo scene and a digital activity model of the athlete. The athlete team can extract complex real-time biomechanical data, analyze the performance of the athletes, and then conduct targeted training.

With TrueView technology, fans can view any position on the course at a “360° angle of view”

Two technology predators are expected to deploy “artificial intelligence athlete tracking” from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In addition to the complementary professional background, the cooperation between the two is more important to each other as the TOP sponsor of the International Olympic Committee.

The TOP sponsor is the highest level sponsor of the International Olympic Committee.

For example, Samsung has broad prospects for cooperation with Intel. Samsung was originally one of Intel’s customers, and with Intel’s accumulation of power in the “5G era,” to play a major role in 5G technology applications, Samsung is likely to be the key partner in related fields.

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics is the first Olympic Games after Intel joined the Olympic family. In addition to a spectacular drone performance at the opening ceremony, Intel completed preliminary explorations on 5G applications, including joint local network providers, creating 5G networks for 10 Winter Olympic venues; and establishing a 5G mobile test platform. The use of offline collection of materials, online fast upload mode, high-efficiency production of the athlete’s time-sharing picture.

Since the TureView image is generated by the algorithm, as long as the algorithm has a program error, the generated content may not conform to reality.

Looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics, 5G technology will be expected to transmit a 360° game screen with a resolution of 8K; VR may also increase the number of frames and details of the game due to the high-speed transmission of data, which will make a qualitative breakthrough in the VR experience. Toyota, the automaker that is also a sponsor of the International Olympic Committee, has painted a lot of “big cakes” about autopilot in 2020, which also requires 5G high-speed transmission technology as support.

It can be seen that Intel’s “sports experience future” is not limited to “immersion”.

Lessons from the “virtual cat map”
A good scene of “Science Changming”! However, at present all “black technology”, “algorithm” and “artificial intelligence” can not get rid of a hidden worry – program error. The risk of procedural errors is obvious. For example, if “automatic driving” misidentifies the road surface object, an accident will occur.

A procedural error may exist, and it means that the so-called “realistic” may be an illusion.

That’s why Intel strongly denied when outside worlds suggested that TrueView could be used to help judge decisions. Intel said that TrueView is limited to “entertainment.” As for not applying to the rule area, one reason Intel gives is “high cost.” It takes several weeks to install these 38 cameras, and new investments in equipment, air conditioning, and electric power are needed.

There are 20 home games in the Premier League, and only 3 home games have TrueView service. Is it only in these 3 stadiums that the decision is made with TrueView? This obviously makes the referee system not uniform, and the league will not agree. But Intel’s public reason is not like the core reason for rejecting TrueView’s assistance in penalties.

Curie can be implanted in skateboards, running shoes, glasses, and sports underwear to collect data on athletes’ physical conditions and movement characteristics.

The more likely main reason is that artificial intelligence is “not enough.” Since the TureView image is generated by the algorithm, as long as the algorithm has a program error, the generated content may not conform to reality. “To be true and false” should not be “false.” Otherwise, like the last time in the Champions League 16 Paris Saint-Germain to Manchester United, if the algorithm screen rendering deviation, turned into a ball did not touch Jin Pengbei’s hand, then this classic reversal was killed.

Despite our confidence in the ever-changing technology, algorithmic flaws are nothing new. Graphic chip expert Nvidia has developed an artificial intelligence technology called StyleGAN in recent years, which can automatically generate images of a certain theme after reading a large amount of material. The technology has been open source, and various programmers have built different generated themes, such as smiles, cats and even “secondary girl”.

Although netizens have seen a lot of realistic productions, there are also a lot of “different” pictures. Taking smiley faces as an example, StyleGAN’s learning material is 70,000 portrait images. Some of the virtual images generated in the end are missing an ear, and some people have more “half-face”. The results of the virtual cat map are also very strange. Some of the necks have been elongated into “alpacas”, and some have a “wormhole” on their faces…

This is enough to show that the algorithm is very powerful, but not perfect. Just as we use StyleGAN “virtual play cat” just for the sake of relaxation, TrueView brings changes to the sports watch, and is currently limited to providing new experiences for the audience, rather than shaking the entire decision mode of sports events.

But then again, using virtual images to assist in the judgment is not new. The “Eagle Eye” system of tennis and the “door line” system of the football field are also reflected in the virtual picture. Their technical nature is the same as TrueView. Only the “Eagle Eye” only needs to monitor each boundary line. The “gate line” only needs to monitor the range of the goal. The amount of data required to achieve high accuracy is far less than that of the TrueView covering the global field.

Of course, since Intel is currently arbitrarily saying that “TrueView does not interfere with the judgment”, then when we watch the game, we still proceed from the theme it advocates, and enjoy the “entertainment” upgrade brought by technology for sports watching.