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Intel Signs On As An Olympic Sponsor, Promising Virtual Reality And 360-Degree Video

Intel says it will bring virtual reality, drones and 360-degree to future Olympics, after signing a deal to become a worldwide Olympic partner through 2024. The company says it will bring its technical prowess to the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Intel "will accelerate the adoption of technology for the future of sports on the world's largest athletic stage," CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement about the company's plan.

The International Olympic Committee and Intel announced the new sponsorship deal Wednesday. If the plans live up to high expectations, Intel's participation could change the way we watch the Olympics.

Some highlights:

  • Intel will offer "the first live virtual reality broadcast of the Olympic Winter Games" to immerse fans in the action.
  • 360-degree replay technology will let viewers isolate moments and watch them "from every angle at the Olympic venues."
  • Drones will put on a light show that "will create never-seen-before images in the sky."

In a sign that the recent trend of letting Olympics viewers to choose their own content will continue, Intel and the IOC say they will give fans "the power to choose what they want to see" and how they experience it.

The technological changes aren't the only thing that will be different about the Pyeongchang Games. In March, NBC said that it would end its longtime practice of broadcasting time-delayed coverage of events.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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