Intel Scoops Up Replay Technologies In Virtual Reality Play

Intel acquired Israeli company Replay Technologies, a 360-degree sports video replay company, Intel said Wednesday.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-company’s most recent acquisition signals another step in Intel reaching beyond its traditional PC market sales to a new field -- virtual reality.

’Nearly every business is being revolutionized by data and the ability to capture, connect, analyze and interact with it. One example that Intel is especially excited about is how data is re-inventing the way people consume and interact with sports media,’ said Wendell Brooks, senior vice president of Intel and president of Intel Capital, in a blog post Wednesday.

[Related: 10 Virtual Reality Products That Took Us To Another World At Mobile World Congress 2016]

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Replay Technologies is a virtual reality startup that touts 3-D video technology, called ’freeD video,’ for a more immersive experience when watching sports.

With freeD video, users can experience key moments in sporting events from the first-person perspective as if they were wearing cameras themselves.

While Intel did not disclose how much it will pay for Replay Technologies, sources said the chip maker will pay between $150 million and $170 million, according to a report in the The Wall Street Journal.

Intel and Replay Technologies have partnered recently, and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich gave customers a little taste of what they may expect from the acquisition during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January, where he showed off an interactive 3-D player on third-party devices.

’I find [this partnership] interesting, given the strong partnership between Intel and Microsoft, and the building excitement around HoloLens from the folks in Redmond,’ said Douglas Grosfield, founder and CEO of Five Nines IT Solutions, a Kitchener, Ontario-based solution provider.

’Augmented reality is a technology that will prove to be disruptive in many industries, most especially in entertainment. I recently heard about roller coasters that use AR headsets to bring an entirely new level of entertainment to riders,’ he added.

Intel has been diving deeper into the virtual reality space over the past year, most notably with its purchase of Recon Instruments in June, a Canadian augmented eyewear company.

According to a report earlier in the month by The Wall Street Journal, the company is currently working on an augmented reality wearable headset.

Meanwhile, the virtual and augmented reality markets have also gained traction, as vendors are trying to push the boundaries on virtual experiences.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this year, for instance, virtual reality was the center of attention, with Samsung’s Gear VR, LG’s 360 Goggles and HTC’s Vive headset making waves.