Australian NBA fans will be spoiled for choice, with another streaming option available via immersive technology company Unbnd, who specialises in virtual reality, augmented reality, spatial AR, animation and more.
Unbnd’s new mixed reality mobile application, Missing in Action (MIA), offers NBA TV, around-the-clock coverage of the NBA, high definition live game streams (six per week), panel discussions, lifestyle shows, a selection of video on demand highlights and more. The game streams will be available in a mixed reality viewing mode alongside player, team and league stats and rankings.
Product differentiation always matters: how does MIA differ from NBA’s League Pass, or Kayo’s multi-sport platform?
“When we were creating the technology, we really thought about how we could provide a fresh take on the delivery and broadcast of NBA games and content,” Unbnd CEO and founder, Antony Arena shared. “We considered how fans engage with the NBA holistically and began to build out features around those key areas in an innovative platform starting with mobile – think stats, merchandise, social and the fantasy and wagering space.
“On launch of MIA, you will be able to access comprehensive stats, live games and on demand content in mixed reality environment, but over time we will add the other features and distribute through VR, desktop and smart TV.”
What NBA games will be available?
While the NBA will be determining the schedule, Arena promised that there will be a “skew to local talent”, which could bode well for fans looking to catch their favourite Australians in the NBA, which includes Australia’s first All-Star Ben Simmons on potential title contenders Philadelphia 76ers, Aron Baynes on the surging Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum rejoining teammate Joe Ingles, veteran leader Patty Mills on the San Antonio Spurs and more.
What exactly is mixed reality?
Unlike virtual reality (VR), where additional accessories are required, Arena confirmed that MIA only requires your mobile phone.
“The utility of MIA is through our technology that creates a mixed reality environment that creates a lot of extra real estate to the mobile screen. A very intuitive and simple interface allows users to switch between watching normal 2D content and opening up the Mixed Reality environment that holds all the additional content.”
It’s hard to understand mixed reality until you try it. The Pick and Roll was provided with access to MIA, and watching the stream in MIA’s mixed reality environment certainly offers a different user experience. Rather than a full-screen viewing experience, you are instead positioned in a virtual space that presents the game stream in crisp, high definition quality. As promised, statistics for both teams were immediately accessible on both sides of the game stream, by swiping or tilting the phone to either side.
Tilting down displays a programming schedule filled with live games, classic games (Suns vs Lakers 2006), TNT’s Inside The NBA (hosted by the entertaining quartet of Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith), NBA GameTime and more.
MIA’s virtual space can be viewed from 360 degrees, and could be best described as an indoor basketball gym with a strong NBA identity. The hardwood floor, racked basketballs with all 30 NBA team logos right next to them, and an NBA TV meeting space right opposite, combines to create a feel of something an NBA fan would like to spend time in.
As Arena mentioned earlier, this is just the beginning, and there will likely be more features rolled out in time.
Unbnd isn’t new to reshaping user experiences, and aims to transform the way brands connect with people. Through cutting edge technology, the company’s immersive campaigns have been executed across different fields, including advertising, marketing teaching, training, selling and on-boarding practices.
An official video will be available within the next two weeks, and it will be updated in this article when ready.
How much does it cost?
A 14-day trial is now available to new users, with a monthly subscription price at $6.95.
Right now, New Zealand isn’t included in the rollout, as is the majority of Asia (only Australia and Singapore are targeted at the moment), although it remains a possibility.
“At this stage, we’re very focused on delivering the best product we can in Australia and Singapore, and we excited to get feedback and make the product as good as possible,” Arena said. “In terms of expanding into new markets, we’ll never say never.”
How do I get the MIA app?
For more information on pricing and availability, visit https://www.missinginaction.com.au.
MIA app feature list
- NBA TV – Broadcasting round the clock coverage of the NBA 24/7, including live games, panel discussions, lifestyle shows and replays
- Live NBA – Access to at least six live NBA games per week
- In-Game Theatre mode – Double tap any stream to explore the augmented reality features beyond the game to access stats, analytics and league tables
- Modular control – Personalise and control the experience with custom stats and game info available in-game
- Team, player and league tables & statistics – Take second screen viewing to the next level as you get access to all the team data and statistics you need in one viewing experience