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‘NBA 2K17’ lets you scan your face into the game via smartphone

With an assist from your smartphone, you too can play in the NBA.


April Siese


Posted on Sep 24, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 10:41 pm CDT

We’ve come a long way since the facial recognition shitshow of NBA 2K15. With the latest edition of the NBA 2K franchise just hitting shelves, players are lauding its ability to humanize the game and effortlessly incorporate real people with stunning precision.

You can thank selfies for this improved facial scanning. Whereas its predecessor left players limited to snapping photos of their faces from their consoles, NBA 2K17 allows the use of a smartphone. “These front facing cameras—these selfie cameras—are made to do exactly this,” Visual Concepts game designer Dan Indra tells Motherboard.

The company was enlisted to right the wrongs of the past two games. Its focus? Developing software with portraiture in mind rather than the sweeping views typically captured from a Microsoft Kinect or Playstation 4 camera. The technology utilizes 10-15 shots, stitching together a panorama of sorts.

Already, a majority of active NBA players and coaches have gone through the facial scanning process in an attempt to gather even more data and make the end result a bit more accurate. 

“The way the code works, it should be able to solve any head. We’re looking into throwing in some random faces of people in the office and on the street to give the program some extra training data,” Visual Concepts gaming software engineer Tim Meekins adds.

Well, what better way to test the limits of the technology than with Harambe? Players have already tried their hand at bringing the ape back to life and into professional basketball.

Isn’t technology amazing?

H/T Motherboard

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*First Published: Sep 24, 2016, 11:39 am CDT