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Intel buys virtual reality startup Voke in immersive VR sports drive

Voke’s technology allows users to catch live action than animations in VR headsets.

By CBR Staff Writer

Intel will buy virtual reality start-up Voke as it looks beyond computer chips and towards an immersive sports business.

Voke will be absorbed into Intel Sport Group, a division of Intel, after the acquisition is completed.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Voke was established in 2004 in Santa Clara, California and since then has been developing virtual reality experiences to audiences. The company had previously received financial backing from Intel and the Sacramento Kings.

Intel’s immersive runway experience at New York Fashion Week was powered by Voke. The technology is shown at the Mischa Collection’s presentation. New York Fashion Week runs Sept. 8-14, 2016. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

New York Fashion Week experience captured by Voke. 

According to the chip-maker, Voke’s virtual reality technology TrueVR, is realistic and immersive. Its proprietary paired lens and stereoscopic capture system offers a natural view of actions and lets fans see realistic proportions and depth anywhere they look.

The videos from Voke can be viewed on different platforms including PCs, tablets, smartphones and VR headsets.

The VR technology platform from Voke lets media companies develop live and on demand VR content for audiences on a wide range of medium including their own channels and branded apps.

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Intel Sports Group general manager James Carwana said: “The VOKE team brings more than 20 years of VR expertise, and they’ve captured the attention and the imagination of broadcasters, leagues and teams with their technology and what’s possible.

“Together, we can innovate and scale our new immersive sports business faster to bring fans the most personalised, fully immersive VR experience ever imagined and change the way networks, sports leagues and teams engage with their audiences.”

At present, Voke’s platform is being used by NCAA’s Men’s Basketball Final Four, New York Fashion Week, the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and live streams of concerts, NBA, NFL and college football games.

VOKE co-founder Sankar Jayaram said: “We are extremely proud of the success we have had thus far and it has led us to this game changing moment for live event virtual reality.

“By combining our best in class TrueVR technology platform with Intel’s technologies and commitment to building unprecedented user experiences, we plan to completely change the way fans engage with and experience live events.”

The latest deal follows the acquisition of an Israeli company, Replay Technologies in March, whose 3D video technology allows sports broadcasters provide panoramic view of the action.

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