Whoop, the wearable company that partnered with the NFL Players Association last year to track player strain and recovery, has secured a $25 million Series C funding round led by UAE71 Capital with participation from the NFLPA, Kevin Durant via the Durant Company and NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern.
Longtime Charlotte Hornets broadcaster Stephanie Ready is branching into the cutting edge of new technology. Ready will do color analysis for TNT for a handful of games the rest of the season on a virtual-reality platform. Ready’s first game was a Golden State Warriors-Los Angeles Clippers matchup. She is scheduled for six more games the rest of this season. Viewers need virtual reality headsets to view this experience. It creates an in-arena view, where a fan isn’t restricted to one camera angle on the game.
“I’m extremely lucky; these are national broadcasts and TNT is the best with doing these games,” Ready said Tuesday. “For them to choose me to do these games, I was extremely humbled and honored. And thrilled: The technology is mind-blowing and way above my head. You get things off-ball that during a normal telecast you might not be able to see. For our broadcast, if the ball is on the right side of the court, and the coach on the left side and is jumping out of his seat, you can see that happening in real time.”
The NBA has found at least one technology partner to share in the idea: Magic Leap, the highly anticipated augmented reality startup set to launch its first pair of glasses this year, is now partnering with the NBA and its broadcast partner Turner, the companies announced Tuesday at Recode’s Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The arrangement means that users will be able to watch some NBA content, like classic games or highlights, once Magic Leap launches its AR headset. People wearing the glasses will be able to see multiple screens overlaid onto the real world, “pin” those screens to a wall like a giant movie projector, or watch them as they walk around. You could watch an NBA basketball game on one screen, for example, while getting live stats or social media updates on another.
The Sixers, according to multiple people who spoke with PhillyVoice for this story, believe they are one of a small group of NBA teams with a setup that allows them to train players in virtual reality. It is something the organization has been toying with over the last half year or so, which they believe is primarily useful to help put players inside a game situation, like being part of an inbounds play. It is a way to keep them involved in the program when they can’t participate physically, as they’ve done with injured rookie Furkan Korkmaz.