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Intel (INTC) Eyes Immersive Sports with Voke Acquisition

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In its latest push into the augmented reality space, chip giant Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) has reportedly purchased Voke, a privately held virtual reality (VR) startup that offers personalized and immersive viewing experiences of live events.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Voke’s TrueVR is a real-time, end-to-end technology platform that offers high quality 360 VR experience in full stereoscopic 3D video captured with a special stereoscopic camera. This technology is a step ahead of virtual reality that puts users in a virtual space.

The platform is compatible with a range of devices such as PCs, smartphones, tablets and VR headsets and is offered through various distribution channels and apps. Voke is likely to be absorbed into Intel Sports Group.


What’s Keeping Intel Interested?

The move appears to be a part of the company’s efforts to redirect its resources into areas with better growth prospects, given the secular decline in the PC market and the company’s inability to take advantage of the growth in mobile.

As the company dives deeper into immersive sports, Voke’s special camera, device compatibility and strong grip on a wide range of broadcasters are of special interest to Intel.

James Carwana, GM of Intel Sports Group commented, "Together, we can innovate and scale our new immersive sports business faster to bring fans the most personalized, fully immersive VR experience ever imagined and change the way networks, sports leagues and teams engage with their audiences.

Intel’s New Sweet Spots: VR & Sports

Intel has been steering its business in the immersive sports business with initiatives such as new digital broadcasts at events - X-Games in Aspen and the NBA All-Star Weekend.

In March, the company purchased Israeli 3D video technology company Replay Technologies and integrated its freeD technology team into Intel Sports, which is currently working with some of the biggest broadcasters like ESPN and MLB Network.

It appears that the company is particularly interested in integrating sports with virtual reality. In August, the company unveiled Project Alloy, a prototype of a VR headset platform.

Other notable acquisitions of the company in the VR space include that of computer vision specialists Movidius and Itseez.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Currently, Intel has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth considering in the wider technology sector include Electronics for Imaging, Inc. (EFII - Free Report) ,  NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) and Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

For the current year, the consensus estimate for Electronics for Imaging has gone up by 23.8% in the past 30 days. Estimates for Logitech and Stratasys have remained unchanged over the same time frame.

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