Techwatch: Jul. 15, 1996

VIRTUAL BILLBOARDS

There are two seconds left on the game clock, and college football's national championship is on the line. Nervous fans watching on television across the country hold their breath as the kicker readies himself for a 55-yd. field-goal attempt. They look over his shoulder as he peers between the goalposts, deep into the recesses of...a Ruffles potato-chip ad?

Is this a couch spud's dream or a sports purist's nightmare? Actually, it's the latest twist in the increasingly sophisticated world of sports advertising: an electronic-imaging "occlusion" technology developed by New Jersey-based Princeton Video Image that replaces real ballpark billboards with...

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