As Intel is one of the largest tech giants on the planet, it’s not surprising that the Santa Clara-based company is rather fascinated with virtual reality (VR), one of the most exciting emerging technologies out there. Just a few months ago, Intel introduced its Project Alloy headset and announced that it has partnered with Microsoft to ensure support for the Windows Holographic platform. Apart from VR and semiconductors, Intel is also rather interested in getting involved in sports. The “Intel in Sports” program has already resulted in some incredible advancements including the 360 replay technology and many impressive real-time data gathering solutions. In addition to software, the company is also investing in sports-related wearables like the Radar Pace smart glasses presented during this year’s CES.
Today, Intel made another step in that endeavor by announcing that it’s acquiring the Virtual reality startup VOKE, the makers of VOKE True VR, an end-to-end platform for capturing, producing, and distributing 360-degree video content. While the California startup wasn’t exclusively focused on sports events, that’s exactly why Intel decided to acquire it. In a press release published earlier today, the General Manager of Intel Sports Group James Carwana explained that VOKE’s proprietary technology and all of its employees will help the company innovate and grow its immersive sports business. While no specifics have been given, Carwana did state that the acquisition of VOKE will reflect on all of Intel’s immersive sports solutions, i.e. those designed for fans, content producers, and athletes alike.
For the time being, it seems that VOKE will continue to operate the way it has so far, led by its CEO Jay Jayaram who originally co-founded the company in 2004 with Uma Jayaram. Interestingly enough, Intel and VOKE have already collaborated when they’ve created a 360-degree live stream of the latest New York Fashion Week. Back then, VOKE’s True VR platform was paired with Intel’s data center tech which allowed for a stereoscopic VR broadcast of the event. This cooperation could indicate the way Intel intends to use VOKE’s solutions in the future, i.e. by pairing them with its massive networking infrastructure in order to create a seamless 360-degree streaming experience. The actual transaction is yet to officially take place and no details on the thereof have yet been given.