OZ Sports-RVX brings thrill to living rooms


OZ Sports and RVX Productions Image: Various

Sports technology company OZ Sports has collaborated with visual content studio RVX Productions to launch a new product which has been so designed so as to provide an elevated viewing experience to fans of closed door events during these times of coronavirus crisis.

OZ Sports and RVX Productions, who have shown their prowess in various Hollywood blockbuster movies and TV series, are rolling out new technology and services for rights-holders of leagues to make the experience more engaging and enriching for fans.

OZ Arena, which also integrates into the wider OZ Connected Stadium platform, has been targeted at football and allows spectators to be dynamically added to live broadcasts with the help of advanced augmented reality (AR) technology. Fans can pick their avatar, club’s shirt, have their face painted, and even appear in the stadium in their favorite seat as most sports events are being played out in empty stadia and arenas during these COVID-19 times.

OZ Connected Stadium is the one-stop-solution for leagues and federations to augment their sports offering. A suite of services to capture, enhance and distribute content.

By taking part as audio-only or through immersive visual participation in live broadcast, supporters can also get their voice heard. OZ Arena tech can either completely replace the stadium or augment spectators into existing empty venues.

The process is added to each camera feed in the workflow opening up support for multicamera processing. OZ Arena is armed with audio support, where fans can use an app to add live audio to the broadcast.

The servers aggregate all fan audio, using low-latency time synchronization and AI algorithms, to monitor volume levels, thus allowing fans to screech as loudly as they want in a remote manner, without overpowering the audio stream. These solutions are designed to enable broadcasts to maintain full integrity and sound effects when games are played sans spectators.

Headquartered in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, OZ Sports also has offices in London, Central America, Florida and India.

Gudjon Gudjonsson, CEO of OZ Sports, remarked, “Due to coronavirus, we will see more games played behind closed doors with bans on large-scale public events. It is our job to keep the experience as exciting as it was during the non-pandemic world. We do that by learning from esports, bringing new exciting elements into the real-world broadcasts. Our augmentation filters can be customized based on the branding strategy and the creative plan of the league.”

“The idea is to protect the integrity and experience of the game, by turning the attention away from the empty stadium, and instead replacing it with appealing surroundings to make the game more interesting, and as close to reality as possible. These are times to explore and experiment, to make sport even more appealing and to bring it closer to the latest developments in esports,” Gudjonsson added.

The OZ Arena solution can be applied to live production as a per-match service. It supports both audio-only and the full immersive audio-visual solution. The OZ Arena system is an integrated part of OZ Connected Stadium, and can also be installed at a broadcaster’s facility, OB truck, or at the stadium.

Dadi Einarsson, CEO of RVX, added, “We have brought world-class visual artistes, 3D developers and technologists, with a range of honors and awards – including numerous Emmys, VES and D&AD Awards. The team for this solution has previously delivered visual effects for blockbuster films, TV, video games and VR projects including Everest, Gravity, The OA, 2 Guns and Sherlock Holmes. Our experience with AAA quality visuals coupled with cutting edge AI and AR solutions put us in the perfect spot.”

COVID-19 will bring about a total transformation in how business, industry as well as sports function.

When football returns with full fans in attendance, it will be in unprecedented circumstances. For the millions of match-starved fans around the world, OZ Arena provides the opportunities to federations, leagues and broadcasters to transform and revolutionize the home viewing experience.

Venues might be physically deserted, but through cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) and visual effects – the likes of which have been embraced in the world of esports and streaming – fans will still be able to be at the heart of the action. After all, every cloud has a silver lining.

The AI and machine learning team include PhDs and specialists on both player and ball tracking that have developed a low-latency perception framework for a detailed semantic understanding of sports games. This framework is a combination of state-of-the-art object detectors, trackers and classifiers which are trained to perform in sports environments. OZ Sports technology can uncover the true state-space of the sport and infer meaningful sport-specific abstractions from the game from velocity vectors in a three-dimensional space.

OZ Sports

The OZ mission is to unite people through innovation by delivering a new world of sports broadcasting at venues globally for leagues, clubs and fans.

The aim is to democratize football, offering every league – no matter where in the world – access to the same quality technologies to make the game better.

OZ solutions help to monetize and elevate the profile of leagues and sports events by offering fans a more interactive and engaging experience.

Specifically, the OZ Connected Stadium enables high-quality remote production, branded league apps and OTT distribution, VAR solutions and real-time player tracking.

RVX Studios

RVX is a world-class, award-winning visual content studio, specializing in VFX for film and television, VR and special venues projects. Since 2008, RVX has delivered visual effects and content for over 20 films, TV, video games and VR projects.

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