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NBA AR app brings new '360 portals' experience for fans

While it isn't quite the same as being court-side at a basketball game, it's nice nonetheless.

  • Published: June 1, 2018 9:57 AM IST

NBA has had its AR app for iOS live since last year, but the app admittedly didn’t do much apart from some mini games. Today, NBA has updated its AR app to include a new ‘360 portals’ feature that adds some interesting capabilities to the app. This will now allow you to go court-side in AR on your smartphone, by walking through a ‘portal’ created wherever you are, albeit on your phone’s screen.

Creating and walking through the superimposed portal will start an AR experience on your phone that puts you in the middle of the action on the basketball court. Obviously, you’re viewing this on your smartphone, so it isn’t quite the same as being there, or even as immersive an experience as a VR-based application would give you. Nonetheless, you get a great view of what’s happening on the basketball court.

“360 Portals will bring NBA fans behind the scenes and onto the court, providing a new way to experience the game through augmented reality,” Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, NBA EVP of digital media, said in a press release. “We hope fans around the world check out the NBA AR app throughout the Finals for a unique perspective on our biggest event of the year.”

The NBA AR app will also be coming to Android, with phones that support Google’s ARCore getting access to it. While we first got a glance of the platform last year, ARCore will go mainstream this year with wider support on key Android smartphones. The platform is Google’s answer to Apple’s ARKit, which is supported on newer iPhone models to offer a superior AR and mixed reality experience.
  • Published Date: June 1, 2018 9:57 AM IST