Intel Corp. announced it is partnering with Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to allow college basketball fans to experience March Madness in virtual reality (VR).
Fans can purchase a March Madness Live VR ticket for a "virtual courtside" experience for NCAA March Madness games, starting with the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, according to Intel's announcement.
The technology, called Intel True VR, gives viewers a VR experience that includes live and on-demand sports, in-game highlights and produced game feeds, according to Intel.
While the application is intended for consumers, the relationship is worth noting. The NCAA, an organization traditionally not known for its technology backbone, has brought in a major tech contractor to create a whole new capability for customers.
It’s just another example technology potentially changing the way a business works. But it's also a look into how Intel is trying to change how people perceive its products and services. Sales of traditional computer chips for PCs may be falling, but Intel is strategically investing in new areas, like VR, that have unlimited potential for future growth.
Intel's move comes at a time when the enterprise and consumer appetite for VR is exploding. By 2021, IDC expected 99.4 million VR headset device shipments worldwide.