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A future NBA app feature lets fans virtually replace a player in a live game

Isaac Okoro of the Cleveland Cavaliers guards James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers at an NBA game this week. Soon, you too will be able jump into a pro game — at least, virtually.
Tim Nwachukwu
/
Getty Images
Isaac Okoro of the Cleveland Cavaliers guards James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers at an NBA game this week. Soon, you too will be able jump into a pro game — at least, virtually.

Ever wanted to see yourself dunk like LeBron?

The NBA app could soon make that a reality. A new feature coming to the app lets users virtually sub in for a player during a live NBA game. Users would scan themselves to create their own avatar that overlays an actual player in real-time.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver introduced the app's new streaming experience at the NBA All-Star Tech Summit in Salt Lake City on Friday.

In an on-stage demonstration, Silver scanned the body of sports commentator Ahmad Rashad and pasted it onto that of the Utah Jazz's Talen Horton-Tucker.

"You'll be making all the same movements as he was, but it'll look like it's your body," Silver told Rashad.

Avatar Rashad is then seen running down the court in a pair of casual pants to complete a dunk in the place of Horton-Tucker.

According to the app company Polycam, the NBA feature uses Polycam's LiDAR (short for "Light Detection and Ranging") technology to capture a person's 3D image to generate the avatar.

The NBA has yet to give a release date for the feature.

The in-app telecast also promises to offer a bunch of other new features, including more languages, celebrity commentary, the ability to move the game to virtual locations and integrated betting.

In the future, maybe that means you can put money on yourself to win an NBA game.

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