NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today the launch of the NBA AR app, a new augmented reality (AR) experience that allows fans to play virtual pop-a-shot from any point in the world through AR technology. This marks the first augmented reality game by a U.S. sports league. NBA AR for iPhone is available for free on the App Store.
Using the iPhone camera and ARKit technology, the app captures a player’s surroundings, pins an authentic NBA backboard and court into the real-world environment, and then uses the accelerometer in the iPhone to flick shots at the hoop before the 30-second shot clock expires. Players can share their shooting sessions with friends (through iMessage, email or social media) or see how they stack up globally on the overall leaderboard.
Fans also have the option to select their favorite NBA team to brand their environment and receive updates on the team’s upcoming games.
“We’ve always said that basketball can be played virtually anywhere – and today that takes on an expanded meaning,” said Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, NBA Senior Vice President, Digital Media. “Augmented reality presents a variety of fascinating engagement opportunities, so we hope our fans download the app and try out their skills wherever they might be.”
NBA AR is available on iPhone 6s and later running iOS11, and was developed using ARKit. Later this season, the NBA plans to introduce additional augmented reality experiences through the app.