Intel Could Soon Blitz Sony’s Market in Sports Analytics

As discussed in a previous insight, Sony’s subsidiary, Hawk-Eye, signed on to provide its SMART Replay system to the NFL to be implemented in the upcoming season. The system allows for the synchronization of every camera angle being recorded in the stadium to allow referees and replay officials the ability to ensure they are always provided the optimal angle to make the right call. The lack of patents protecting that technology was also highlighted, leaving the field fairly open to competitors. In early-August 2021, just a week after the NFL announced the partnership, Intel had a patent application disclosing a technology that could easily disrupt Hawk-Eye’s already weak hold on the technology space.

The application detailed technology that would allow referees and replay officials to review exact 3D renderings of plays. The technology uses a system of cameras around the stadium allowing for a referee to place a “virtual camera” at any position on the field to always ensure they are getting the best angle, even when there is not a real camera there and unlike Hawk-Eye, it is aiming to protect the technology with patents. 

It’s also worth noting that the applications of this technology don’t end with the replay booth. According to its website, Intel looks to implement this technology directly to viewers, a step which could revolutionize sports broadcasting. While only time will tell how this technology space plays out, this is one of the first times these two multinational technology companies appear to be competing over similar technology space, and based on the patents it appears Intel is off to an early lead. Stay up to date with Hawk-Eye and other market movers but following the Sports Analytics Patent Forecast®.