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T20 Cricket World Cup: ICC, With Help of Quidich, Offers Apple Vision Pro Users Immersive Highlights


T20 Cricket World Cup: ICC, With Help of Quidich, Offers Apple Vision Pro Users Immersive Highlights App offers replays within a graphical representation of the entire pitch By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director

Friday, June 21, 2024 - 8:00 am

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The International Cricket Council's T20 Men's World Cup 2024 is officially getting the Apple Vision Pro treatment with the launch of the ICC Immersive App built by Quidich Innovation Labs. Branded HypeReality, the app allows Apple Vision Pro users to watch replays of key highlight moments from the Super 8 of the T20 World Cup 2024 within an immersive graphical representation of the entire pitch, taking the experience of watching a highlight to new levels of engagement.

Apple Vision Pro allows cricket fans to be placed right in the middle of the pitch while watching highlights.

Imagine yourself stepping into the batter's shoes, says Rahat Kulshreshtha, co-founder, Quidich Innovation Labs. With the ICC Immersive App, you'll see the ball hurtle toward you from the batter's perspective for key moments of each highlight. You can even tap on any player to view their profile and past performance stats. It's a truly immersive way to experience cricket, offering a glimpse into the future of sports viewing.

According to ICC Head of Digital Finn Bradsham, the ICC is always looking at ways to use new technology and data to take fans closer to the action. To see how the app works, click here.

Apple Vision Pro gave us a unique platform to create completely immersive experiences, he says. We believe this will be a great way for existing fans to go deeper into the game they love and will help explain our sport to the many new fans we have reached following the success of games in the USA.

Kulshreshtha sees Apple Vision Pro and immersive experiences as the future of sports viewing, pushing beyond the limitations of traditional high-definition broadcasts: Traditional sports production has reached a plateau. We've maxed out camera positions, microphones, and even resolution and color depth. Going from 4K to 8K offered minimal improvement, and surround sound is now commonplace. The next frontier lies in exploring the captivating world of 3D immersive experiences.

It remains to be seen, he adds, whether the ultimate experience will be a fully immersive VR experience or a subtler enhancement through layered 3D content, but it's crucial for leagues worldwide to start experimenting in this space. The first time I wore the Apple Vision Pro I knew that the form factor and the quality of devices had arrived, he says. It's still very expensive, no doubt, but I think it has set the benchmark for everybody as to what the experience can be like.

The app itself is a technological marvel and the culmination of years of work and planning. We've been working on this idea for years, Kulshreshtha reveals. ICC Immersive combines our cutting-edge tracking technology [QT Tracker] with data from WSC and CricViz. It's a seamless integration that ensures you have the most accurate and insightful information at your fingertips.

It's also fully automated, making it more efficient in terms of workflows as well as ensuring super-timely content. The moment the ICC pushes through the highlights, says Kulshreshtha, it's pulled into a server and pushed out to the device.

The app was developed in less than eight weeks after ICC and Apple decided that Quidich is perfectly positioned to build it, Kulshreshtha says. It's totally ridiculous to do this in eight weeks, but, because of some of the products that we already put out, a lot of the hard work was already done, like creating 3D models of the stadiums. We currently have almost 60 stadiums globally mapped to within-a-centimeter level of accuracy. This project worked in parallel with some of the products that we do for broadcast as we also understand data integration really well.

Although creating the app took less than eight weeks, years of planning and data collection ensured that it would be done right. According to Kulshreshtha, Quidich has been working on HypeReality for about three years.

He adds that the Apple Vision Pro is the first VR headset he has seen that is great for content consumption. On my flight to New York, I spent three hours watching a movie in the device, and there was no headache. It felt really comfortable. And the quality of the picture is far more enhanced than what you see on TV, because you've literally got 4K delivered to each eye. When someone from the ICC used it, they said, Now I know what 4K looks like.'

He also believes that the Apple Vision Pro can bring back shared experiences in a world where apps have people on their phones and in a very isolated consumption model.

The beauty of this app, he explains, is that it goes beyond just your own immersive experience. Since FaceTime works seamlessly with most iOS devices, you can share your ICC Immersive experience live with anyone on your contact list. Imagine virtually placing your friend right next to you on the pitch, both of you seeing the action unfold from the heart of the stadium. Cricket, with its 360-degree nature, is perfect for this shared experience. You can discuss player positioning, how it affects the batsman's strategy, and the overall flow of the game - all in real time. This level of interactivity takes watching highlights to a whole new level.
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