One of the most popular sports shows on television, Inside the NBA on TNT, gave viewers a tech-powered treat on Tuesday night by dropping them into a broadcast version of augmented reality.
During the show's "Gone Fishin'" segment, which is dedicated to teams eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, the studio's center host table was suddenly outfitted with a massive, life-sized virtual motor boat, complete with splashing waves and water.
As usual, Lakers great (and part-time Magic Leap pitchman) Shaq couldn't resist hamming it up, and actually took a dive beneath the virtual waves to show off just how well executed the in-studio effect was. The virtual boat was first shown off last week to kick off the start of the league's playoff season.
This isn't the first time the show has experimented with AR-style effects. Just a few years ago, the show began showing off three-dimensional logos hovering in front of the host desk. But last night's broadcast took things to a new level.
TNT's dive into broadcast AR-style effects is just one example of what promises to become a deluge of immersive broadcast visuals coming this year as The Weather Channel has also announced plans to include more AR-style visuals in its daily broadcasts.
And aside from enhancing traditional broadcasts, these kinds of TV experiences will likely help to push the mainstream to embrace the growing number of AR apps available on mobile platforms like iOS and Android.