NBA and Magic Leap team up for new augmented reality experience

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On Tuesday, Magic Leap CEO and founder Rony Abovitz and National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver got together on stage at Recode’s Code Media conference to unveil a new joint venture with the two organizations.

The new partnership between the NBA and the virtual reality startup includes an Augmented reality system  that will bring basketball fans closer to the “experience of the arena.”

In the interview, Abovitz and Silver showcased a video of former NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal wearing Magic Leap One: Creator Edition glasses that appear even too small for his head and watching a full-court game.

Abovitz describes a partnership between Magic Leap, NBA and Turner Broadcasting that will bring numerous features to fans. Some of the services rolling out through the app will be a skybox at the game, tabletop experience and screens, which emulates multiple screens found in a sports bar. Fans will also be able to see holograms of their favorite players.

Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Leap One: Creator Edition glasses, Turner Broadcasting, NBA , Magic Leap CEO, Augmented Reality

“At launch we will have a curated list of archived NBA games featuring the most exhilarating match ups from recent seasons, as well as a selection of highlight clips of your favorite teams and players. We are working towards bringing the live NBA game experience to Magic Leap One,” said Jeff Ruediger, managing director of Magic Leap.

While there is no date for a rollout, Abovitz hinted at a Spring announcement. Currently, is now asking developers and creators at all levels to reach out to Magic Leap with any ideas.

As of a launch date, Abovitz said the price would be equivalent to a “premium computer.” However, they hope that over time, they will be able to release tiers at different prices, the cheapest of which will range between a “higher end mobile phone to a higher end tablet.”

The NBA is the first sports organization to team up for a virtual reality partnership. Though several sports channels including NBC sports and FOX sports have VR experiences through the Oculus. And Sports Illustrated announced that their swimsuit issue will feature VR and AR.

Check out the whole interview with Silver and Abovitz below.

Are you excited for the new NBA Augmented Reality?