Intel acquires 3D video technology firm Replay Technology

Intel yesterday acquired Israeli 3D video technology firm Replay Technologies, taking another step towards what CEO Brian Krzanich called the digitisation of sports.

Intel, which had been on the lookout for new technologies that made use of its chips, had been working with Tel Aviv-based Replay since 2013. The company's technology formed part of Krzanich's keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Intel did not disclose the amount it paid for the company, but Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz put it at $175 million.

The Replay team will focus on advancing its technology with Intel to deliver faster video processing and new features, wrote Intel senior vice president of Wendell Brooks in a blog post.

''Technology now plays an unprecedented role in sports and we're just getting started,'' he said.

He added, Intel plans to build a new category of sports that it called immersive sports, aimed at both fans,  athletes and coaches due to its ability to capture, analyze and share data.

Replay, founded in 2011, last month raised $13.5 million in funding. Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, also held a stake in the company.

Replay Technologies had made a novel 3-D viewing technology called "freeD."

With the deal, Intel not only gets a way to digitise athletic matches, but also a new buzz word: "immersive sports," meaning technology that put viewers on the playing field virtually.

The technology was developed by three Israelis -- an aviation engineer, a computer graphics expert and a physicist -- who wanted to create views of a soccer match from the perspective of the goalie.

"We were living in the UK at the time, working for an aviation company," said co-founder Aviv Shapira. "We tried a few things, a few tricks, and eventually Matteo, my brother, come up with the idea to reconstruct reality, giving a novel new perspective that cannot be achieved with normal cameras today."