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Unity Metacast: Experience the future of sports in volumetric 3D

February 28, 2022 in Industry | 3 min. read

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Delivering interactive 3D sports experiences to enthusiastic fans will be closer than ever, thanks to an innovative collaboration we have underway with Qwilt, an edge cloud provider with a fast-growing global footprint, and Cisco, an industry leader in networking solutions.

When there’s a dramatic moment and your favorite player can win the match in the final seconds, where do you want to be?

Attendees at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC, Feb. 28 – March 3) in Barcelona can experience the latest Unity Metacast demos and see how we’re bringing this groundbreaking new medium of volumetric technology to the world of sports, media, and entertainment. 

Come-from-behind upsets, record-breaking games, super-human performances: Sports enthrall us and the drama is infectious. Unity Metacast puts you in the middle of the action where the sweat is flying and the excitement is palpable while letting you tailor your own magic moments. 

Delivering this experience to every viewer in every home is the goal of the purpose-optimized, edge content-delivery platform of our collaboration with Cisco and Qwilt.

What is Unity Metacast?

Unity Metacast uses volumetric technology that streamlines the process of capturing, producing, viewing, and interacting with real sports events in 3D. On mobile devices, you can experience your favorite game or match from any angle, letting you see every movement as if you’re among the athletes.

“From the beginning, Unity Metacast’s mandate has been to bring fans up close and personal to their favorite sport. The work we’re doing with Cisco and Qwilt will be a significant step towards that goal,” says Unity Metacast’s Tian Pei, Head of Partnerships & Operations. “Unity Metacast powers the highway for volumetric data, enabling large interactive datasets to be viewed, edited, and experienced by fans on the devices of their choice – whether at home or on the road. By combining Unity’s real-time 3D capabilities with Qwilt’s content-delivery platform and Cisco’s edge compute and networking expertise, we will enable fans to experience live sports with the same mechanics as video games.”

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Unity Metacast: Supercharging events for sports fans

The magic begins once the content is captured and converted to volumetric data. “With the event in our pipeline, almost anything is possible with the Unity Metacast Studio and the Unity Editor,” says Pei. “Smart analytics, annotation tools, ‘impossible’ camera angles, visual effects, dynamic advertising – you name it, we either have it already or we’re building it.”

The Unity Metacast pipeline: From raw to enhanced streaming
The Unity Metacast pipeline: From raw to enhanced streaming

When ready, the content will be rendered and streamed – all agnostic of network or device. Viewers will be able to interact with it via a Unity Metacast-supported app, downloadable for a number of popular mobile devices.

AI and machine learning are also in the game

Once the volumetric data is captured, producers will be able to tap into Unity’s machine learning capabilities to analyze the data, recognize players, estimate poses, and determine the optimal placement of different cameras. On the viewer side, fans will be able to act as directors by viewing the action from any position, including “impossible” camera angles. They’ll also be able to see the smart-data overlays and purchase merchandise (like the shoes of their favorite player) all directly through the app.

Scene Understanding
Unity’s AI and machine learning will enhance Unity Metacast events

Cisco + Qwilt: Not your traditional CDN

Delivering volumetric content requires very high bandwidth and low latency, as it needs to handle anywhere from tens to hundreds of megabits per second in sustained bitrate. To do this at scale requires purpose-built, data delivery, and data reduction capabilities.

Cisco Edge Cloud for Content Delivery, in partnership with Qwilt, is deployed inside the communications service provider (CSP) network, as close to viewers as possible. This ensures the most scalable bandwidth and the lowest latency available for any platform.

“By combining Unity’s ability to create compelling volumetric media content with Qwilt’s pioneering expertise in streaming content delivery and Cisco’s leadership in networking, this solution sets the foundation for the best immersive experiences for viewers,” says Theodore Tzevelekis, VP and Head of Business Development, Cisco Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group.

Experience Unity Metacast and meet the team

Attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona? Look for the Unity Metacast team in the Cisco area. Be sure to say hello, try our interactive sports demos, and learn how our solution works.

Want to know more?

Check out the Unity Metacast page and sign up for our mailing list to get the latest news.

February 28, 2022 in Industry | 3 min. read

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