Kobe Bryant sees LED basketball court, is stunned

If you think an NBA court is somehow state of the art, take a look at what they have in China.

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The future of the NBA? AKQA/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's hard to believe, I know, but there may exist technological items more exciting than the alleged iWatch.

This blinding thought has come to me thanks to alleged iWatch researcher and occasional NBA player Kobe Bryant.

Recently, he went to China and uttered these words: "I didn't even know that was possible."

Was he referring to a Lakers winning season? No. He had just set eyes on an extraordinary basketball court, with LED technology built into its floor.

As Dezeen reports, the court was created by Nike and is to be found in a training facility called the House of Mamba in Shanghai.

It has motion sensors embedded in the floor, which track players' movements and generally make the floor look like an elaborate video game or a very strange night in a Vegas club.

It can, in essence, display all sorts of graphic wonderment.

Naturally, it's now being used to train young players in the finer arts of basketball. However, you and I both suspect that there will be other uses in times to come.

Your average NBA court is a fairly dull affair: a large logo in the middle and youths at either end wiping sweat away with old rags.

Please imagine the pulsating possibilities with LED.

When I say "pulsating," I am, of course, referring to advertising. As the point guard pushes the ball up the court, there might suddenly be displayed a glowing ad for LinkedIn and the suggestion: "Push your career up court faster than Steve Nash!"

Then there's the idea that each player could have his own personal ad follow him around the court. LeBron James, for example, could be permanently accompanied by an ad for the Cleveland Tourism Board. Bryant might move in concert with a message from a sharing company, such as Lyft.

If you think these thoughts are somewhat stretched, please examine Toyota's recent, highly intrusive advertising during the preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.

There are still greater possibilities, however.

Chinese movie theaters are already experimenting with the idea of projecting texts from the audience onto the big screen.

What fun it would be for, say, the notoriously passive fans of the New York Knicks to be able to send a text that would run along the court with one of their less consistent players: "Trade J.R. Smith now!!!"

 

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