The National Basketball Association (NBA) is taking advantage of the digital revolution, exploring and integrating a variety of technologically advanced solutions to enhance the viewing experience and improve the performance of both players and officials. From the league’s official website to its use of video reviews for game-changing calls, technology has become an integral part of both on-court and off-court operations.
High-definition televisions are now standard in living rooms around the world, and many fans have already upgraded their systems to 4K, so it’s no surprise that sports leagues are taking note and trying to adapt their broadcasts to be more modern and higher-tech. Today, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced they’re partnering with NextVR, which provides virtual reality technology that allows viewers to not only see live NBA games in 3D but also experience them as if they were right there in the arena. What does this mean for the future of watching sports?
It may not be as fun to watch drones fly around as it is to see a slam dunk, but they’re quickly becoming an important tool in every NBA team’s arsenal. The drones we’re talking about are often deployed as practice tools; fans who have attended games in recent years have likely seen their favorite squad use quadcopters to film their practices and record a birds-eye view of team strategy sessions.
In fact, last year, 2015 No. 1 overall draft pick Karl Anthony Towns used drone footage to help him prepare for his first season with Minnesota. As technology advances, expect teams to get even more creative with how they use drones—from scouting opponents to filming commercials.
The emergence of player tracking has created an entirely new set of data for teams to mine, which could have a significant impact on how coaches draw up plays and make substitutions. Worn in a small vest that players wear under their jerseys, sensors gather information about distance covered, speed and other factors. Teams can use that data to determine, for instance, whether a player needs to go to the bench or if he should stay out on the court longer.
One study found that when athletes wore these devices during practice, they ran 2% more than they would otherwise, but also had higher heart rates. This suggests they were exerting themselves more intensely as well—which is exactly what coaches want them to do.
Sportsbook and Hi-tech NBA
The odds of a sports game are normally set by two different kinds of people – a bookie and an oddsmaker. Oddsmakers use statistical models to predict how likely something is to happen, and bookies take those odds and add their own percentage to it for profit. With sportsbooks becoming hi-tech with data analytics, however, gamblers are finally able to get some real insight into what’s going on in a game.
For example, statistics have shown that shooting three-pointers is worth more than shooting mid-range shots because they’re easier to make. Using these numbers, you can place more money on a team that shoots three-pointers than one that shoots mid-range shots. Of course, there are many other factors at play here as well – but now you know why you should bet on Steph Curry over Kyrie Irving when they go head-to-head! For more information visit https://www.thesportsgeek.com/sportsbooks/nba/
Virtual reality & eSports
Virtual reality (VR) has exploded over recent years and is transforming everything from retail to education. But it’s also found a home in professional sports, basketball. The NBA recently partnered with NextVR to broadcast entire games as VR experiences, while earlier in 2017 they also signed a partnership with Intel to develop an eSport tournament around their new VR technology. It might not be long before you can watch an entire basketball game without ever leaving your couch!
Not only are there benefits for fans – who will now have access to courtside seats without paying exorbitant amounts – but players themselves stand to gain more insight into opponents due to increased data availability. Increased analytics will help players make better decisions both on and off the court by giving them more information on performance.
Mobility with wearables
A new generation of tracking devices can pinpoint an athlete’s speed, distance traveled, heart rate, and other data during a game. For instance, both Adidas and Nike have created sneakers that track heart rate, which lets athletes (and coaches) keep tabs on their physical condition during a game. In addition to allowing teams to track player progress over time and review individual performance after a game has ended, these technological advances also allow players to gauge their level of fatigue before it starts impacting their play.
It’s a team effort, and wearable tech is giving players new ways to stay in shape. When they’re not on the court, they can track their heart rate and body temperature with wearables, like the Fitbit Charge HR and Jawbone UP3 (pictured). As a result, teams can better understand and may somehow prevent player injuries.
The future of Hi-Tech NBA
The possibilities for integrating technology into the game of basketball are seemingly endless- from using motion-detection cameras during a game that give broadcasters additional perspectives during play, to leveraging machine learning algorithms that help coaches make timely strategy adjustments throughout a match.
Additionally, with over 6 million sports fans currently subscribed to its NBA League Pass streaming service and an increasing demand expected in the coming years-the league is committed to entering any new technological frontier available in order to revolutionize how people experience basketball even further.
The newer generations of basketball players use technology in their games to analyze and improve play, from wearable technology that tracks movement and stats during practice to virtual reality that allows teams to train against opponents without having to be in the same city. The next generation of NBA stars is growing up playing video games—and they’re incorporating what they learn into real-world games.