Video conferencing tools continue to benefit from the health crisis. After having been at the heart of all homes during confinement, they give rise to new uses, especially in sport. For the NBA, which resumes this July 30 in a unique location, at Disneyworld in Florida, these tools are an opportunity to engage fans. In fact, the American League announced that it has entered into a partnership with Teams, Microsoft’s software, to allow basketball fans to display their avatar in the virtual audience of the room. Explanations.
A trombinoscope to encourage the Clippers?
After coming to an abrupt end on March 16, the NBA is about to resume under very specific conditions. Players have been locked in the Orlando “bubble”, an isolated part of the world within Disneyworld Park, Florida. Of course, the eight regular season games and all Playoff games will be played without an audience. But unlike football stadiums in Europe, where the stands have been decorated, the floor that will serve as the arena for basketball stars is surrounded by huge 5-meter-high LED screens. The NBA therefore considered a solution to allow the most assiduous fans to cheer their team. In fact, up to 300 Teams users will be able to use Microsoft’s new tool feature, “Together Mode”. Result: the faces of the fans will appear in these virtual stands. “This new experience, the first to come online as a result of the NBA’s strategic alliance with Microsoft, will give participating fans the feeling of being seated next to each other during a live game,” without leaving the comfort and safety of their home, while the players will experience their energy and support on site, ”explains the League. In order to prevent any inappropriate behavior, the NBA and broadcasters will also place moderators in these Teams conversations. These will be responsible for preventing the development of “virtual hooliganism”.
Hide this behind closed doors
Launched in early July, the “Together Mode” feature allows you to erase the background of Teams users and bring them all together in a united environment. This virtual room replaces the traditional grid display and will therefore allow the NBA to simulate the presence of real fans in the Orlando “bubble”. This fairly innovative feature comes in addition to other devices that will be put in place during the end of the season in order to make viewers forget the in camera in which the meetings will be played out. For example, to simulate the atmosphere of games, broadcasters will use sounds from the NBA 2K game.
The NBA has yet to release details for the use of this service. They should be known in the next few hours. It will take a little more patience to know the procedure to follow in order to display your face on the edge of the floor, and thus be able to encourage Zion Williamson, James Harden and others Anthony Davis.