You need to see why live VR is the future of watching basketball

During a demonstration from Verizon and Ericsson at the 2018 NBA All Star Game in Los Angeles, NBA All Stars Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal wore blacked-out goggles with a headset-mounted camera streaming video over 5G and back to the goggles.

the future of basketball

Imagine a network so fast that you can shoot baskets or catch a football or even drive a car in real life and in real time while wearing a VR headset connected to a camera.

Well, that network is here, and Davis and Beal can tell you all about it. The two players shot free throws and launched three-point shots from within their virtual experience in a dramatic demonstration of the high throughput and low latency of 5G.

Catch them in action below:

Davis was so impressed he tweeted about it. 

Which inspired a response from none other than LeBron James. 

How is this possible? It works because 5G networks will be capable of single-digit millisecond latency, which seems like real-time to your brains. To put it in perspective, blinking your eye takes 300 to 400 milliseconds.

“Why did we do this?” said Sanyogita Shamsunder, executive director of Verizon’s 5G ecosystem planning in an interview with Forbes. “It just shows the lay person what we can do with 5G with the bandwidth that we have, low latency and with it being super-fast … When we do have that virtual experience that we’re ready to offer, you can think about a service where you’re sitting in the stadium and looking at the basket from Bradley Beal’s point of view.”

Sports are a prime target for what can be called “mixed reality,” a combination of augmented and virtual reality that can boost everything from analytics to training to the fan experience.

We also believe the consumer market will be the first large-scale use case for 5G, driven by a massive rise in data on mobile networks, greater efficiency and business benefits for early adopters, an argument summed up by colleague Peter Linder in a recent post.

But what will people do with all this 5G capabilities? Ericsson ConsumerLab found in a 2018 report that both "athlete and area view" and "VR cinema" ranked high in consumer interest. But maybe the most inspiring takeaway from that report is that people want 5G to offer “a sense of the unlimited.”

And I think Bradley Beale and Anthony Davis did a good job of giving us a glimpse of that.

Check out our latest insights on building a 5G consumer business.  You can also see our latest demos from the 2019 MWC Barcelona in the following posts:

Ericsson at MWC19—it all begins!

Ericsson at MWC19— the innovation continues!

Ericsson at MWC19— feel the 5G!

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At the Ericsson Blog, we provide insight to make complex ideas on technology, innovation and business simple.