The Beat

POSTED BY ltucker ON Apr 4, 2011

EA SPORTS Virtual Playbook Coming To Soccer Broadcasters

Every once in a while, a technology emerges in sports that changes the way we watch and analyze the game. In 2008, EA SPORTS introduced just such a paradigm shift when Virtual Playbook technology was rolled out to NFL viewers. Since then broadcasters have been using this powerful new tool to help bring the gridiron directly to their viewers.

Today we’ve got some exciting news. EA SPORTS just struck a deal with Orad Hi-Tec Systems Ltd. to bring Virtual Playbook technology to the global soccer community.

The award-winning technology allows broadcasters to re-create specific sports situations using core EA SPORTS game technology to generate an “augmented reality” that provides unique insight, education and analysis on key plays and techniques.

The Virtual Playbook is created using feeds from in-studio real-world cameras as well as an in-game camera that captures in-game graphics depicting real game scenarios. The real-world studio and game images of virtual characters are combined to create the effect of “augmented reality” – virtual players appearing in the studio alongside real life hosts and analysts. Both real and virtual people are able to move realistically around the studio set to demonstrate plays and scenarios.

With this new exclusive agreement covering global markets outside of North America and the UK, EA SPORTS Virtual Playbook will merge the depth and realism of the FIFA titles with Orad’s advanced virtual studio and camera tracking systems. This will allow broadcasters to enhance their sports broadcasts and allow in-studio hosts to analyze plays and game conditions alongside virtual players before the match, highlighting formations and scenarios, and providing viewers with a new level of connection to the game. Televised soccer may never be the same.