Magic Leap And Shaq Announce NBA AR App Partnership

One of the VR/AR world’s very few “unicorns” just announced its first major content partnership with the National Basketball Association.

The Florida-based Magic Leap has raised $1.9 billion from heavy hitters like Google Ventures and the Alibaba Research group.

Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz revealed in an interview last night at the Code Media conference that the recently unveiled Magic Leap One headset will be have an application for watching basketball.

The new app was co-announced by NBA legend and world-renown large person Shaquille O’Neil.

In a blog post, Jeff Ruediger, the Managing Director of Magic Leap Screens (how would you like to see that on your name tag at a high school reunion?) explained that:

Fans will be able to summon multiple, virtual screens into their field of view. When paired with Magic Leap’s Digital Lightfield technology and spatial computing, these screens can be shown at any size, and in any location combined with supplemental graphics that allow fans to enjoy their favorite stats, replays and commentary — all without missing the game action.

What this means without the techno-babble is that anyone who does spring for the Magic Leap One at launch (which will cost about as much as a high-end personal computer) will be able to see a two-dimensional screen playing NBA basketball within the headsets limited field of view.

According to Abrovitz, the headset will also “know” when you get up to grab a snack and can either pause the game action or conjure a new screen in the kitchen for you.

The app is being produced through a partnership with Magic Leap, Turner and the NBA.

Promotional photo of Magic Leap One.

This marks one of the first major AR applications to be created (at least in part) by major players from the world of traditional entertainment. However, like almost everything with Magic Leap, there’s a catch.

The NBA App will reportedly only be able to play clips and highlights from a limited number of pre-recorded games. This is not an application for watching NBA games live.

Again, like almost everything Magic Leap does, word from the company is to be patient and wait for improvements.

Ruediger writes that this is “only the beginning” and that “through the Magic Leap Screens platform, we will bring even more features and intimate experiences to fans.”

Magic Leap Screens is the company’s exploratory content group. Their goal is to identify, cultivate and release innovative ideas on Magic Leap hardware.

Time will tell if this NBA experience will be a win for Magic Leap, or just another whale belly flopping in the gym.

Image Credit: RECODE / Magic Leap

About the Scout

Joe Durbin

Joe Durbin writes words for a living. These words are about virtual and augmented reality.

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