The NBA Launches Augmented Reality App

NBA logo
via Keith Allison / CC-BY-2.0

Following news of live games being broadcast in VR, the NBA has announced yet another innovation: an official augmented reality app.

The league’s new NBA AR app allows fans to play virtual pop-a-shot from any point in the world through AR technology.

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.

After each session, you can share the results with friends 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.

“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.”

This marks the first augmented reality game by a U.S. sports league.

The NBA AR for iPhone is available for free on the App Store.