Posts Tagged: Playing

John McEnroe is playing tennis against a virtual version of himself on ESPN+

Michelob Ultra and ESPN have decided to use AI to answer an enduring question: what would happen if tennis legend John McEnroe played against himself? An upcoming ESPN+ special entitled "McEnroe vs. McEnroe" will feature the 63-year-old star, who retired from singles competition in 1992, playing against a complicated, AI-trained version of himself. 

According to TechCrunch, the process for the actual game is fairly involved. After the real McEnroe sends a ball over the net, the AI avatar responds to its direction and "swings" — at this point, a new ball is launched from a ball cannon, which is obscured by a smokescreen. The positioning of the ball cannon and smokescreen are designed to make the ball appear as if it's coming off the avatar's racket. The avatar itself is projected onto a hologram particle screen. This teaser below shows off a tantalizingly small amount of footage.

As for how this all came together, the real McEnroe spent a day with production company Unit 9, who used full-body motion capture and scans combined with Unreal Engine's MetaHuman Creator technology. Adweek says that the McEnroe avatar and its programming are based on five different points in McEnroe's career, including his debut in 1979, his ascent to the top of the sport in 1981, and his final year as a pro in 1992.

Besides the work with the real McEnroe, Unit 9 also analyzed hundreds of hours of footage from his career and recorded 308 different shots for the virtual avatar. Given that McEnroe is now 63, he'll be playing against a much younger version of himself — whether or not that means the AI will have the edge remains to be seen, of course. If this somewhat odd matchup has piqued your interest, TechCrunch says the special will air tonight, May 7th, on ESPN+ at 10PM ET. 

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December’s Pixel Feature Drop is here with UWB support for the Pixel 6 Pro, Now Playing improvements, and more

It’s that time again where Google unveils a ton of new features for its Pixel smartphones and December’s Pixel Feature Drop brings the ability to access Snapchat from the lock screen, Ultra-Wideband support to the Pixel 6 Pro, and Now Playing gets a search button for those rare songs that it doesn’t manage to find. […]

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Google announces the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, keeps playing the value game

Google has announced the highly anticipated Pixel 5 today, plus a beefed up, 5G version of the Pixel 4a. If you’re looking for some new options that keep up the trend of value-oriented premium phones, these launches should get you pretty excited. Google Pixel 5 The high-end phone of 2020 from Google is breaking away […]

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Xbox One update helps you buy the games your friends are playing

It could soon be all too easy to cave into peer pressure if you're an Xbox One owner. Microsoft is trotting out a Guide update that not only lets you obtain more info about the games your friends are playing, but buy them, install them or play them….
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‘Cyberpunk 2077’ video offers a ‘deep dive’ on playing styles

CD Projekt Red has a lot more to show of Cyberpunk 2077 than its initial gameplay video and Keanu Reeves' character. The studio has published a 14-minute "deep dive" clip that explores the dilapidated Pacific district and, crucially, the ways that e…
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Peloton slapped with a $150 million lawsuit for playing unlicensed music

Music publishers are suing Peloton, the maker of the connected exercise bike, for failing to license songs it plays in its streaming spinning classes. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday by the National Music Publishers Association in the U.S. District…
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Nike’s self-lacing Adapt BB shoes aren’t playing well with Android phones

How do you know you're living in the future? When your shoes have technical problems. Owners on Google Play and CNET report that Nike's Android companion app for the self-lacing Adapt BB has some teething troubles, most notably a buggy firmware updat…
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The “Now Playing” feature on Pixel 2 phones uses AmbientSense to save your battery

Now that the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones are official, the “Now Playing” feature has gotten a lot of attention. Music playing in the background is automatically detected and identified on your lock screen. It basically takes Shazam to the next level. Google claims that the feature can work offline and won’t […]

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Playing witness to an android riot in ‘Detroit: Become Human’

I don't know when I'll get to play Detroit: Become Human again. The latest game from David Cage's Quantic Dream studio (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) conspicuously didn't have a release date, or, hell, even a release year when Sony showed off a bran…
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