Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launches CourtVision – AR for the NBA (updated)

Jonny Caldwell

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Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft before Satya Nadella as well as owner of the NBA team Los Angeles Clippers, has launched a new AR experience for fans of basketball. The service, which has been named CourtVision, was created by Ballmer and the company Second Spectrum. It uses a mix of computer learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality to give viewers statistics such as a real time calculation of the chance the player will make a shot. Additionally, viewers have access to multiple other “modes,” including “Mascot Mode” which adds nice little animations to the game.

The AR service will be available to FOX Prime Sports Tickets subscribers who live in the Los Angeles area, and streaming can be done with the FOX Sports app. Additionally, a dedicated CourtVision app is also in the works, which is expected to allow viewers multiple different camera views of the game which they can switch through at any time. The app will also allow viewers to switch between listening to the broadcasters or just the arena itself.

Ballmer has also stated that Paul Allen, who recently passed from cancer, has been a long-time friends of his, and something they both shared in common was basketball. In fact, he said that,

“Paul’s really the guy who encouraged me to buy a team, so I guess it’s got some extra meaning for me.”

Ballmer is also an investor of Second Spectrum, a startup company founded in 2013 which specializes in artificial intelligence. It’s the home of numerous computer science and data experts, and has become one of the NBA’s official optical data tracking providers.

Quick update: Todd Bishop from GeekWire has tweeted a CourtVision sample:

Do you want more technology with your sports watching? Let us know in the comments below