LAS VEGAS — First, it was Deion Sanders and Satya Nadella.
Now, it’s Tony Romo and Brian Krzanich.
During Intel’s big keynote at CES in Las Vegas on Monday, the company brought out Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys star quarterback, on stage to tout its “True View” technology — previously known as “freeD” — that lets fans experience the perspective of professional athletes during games.
A funny moment came just before Romo appeared on stage, when Kraznich, Intel’s CEO, accidentally referred to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as “Tony Romo” while showing a clip of Brady. He apologized to Romo when the former NFL player came on stage.
“People get me mixed up with Tom Brady all the time,” joked Romo.
Romo, now a commentator for CBS, raved about Intel’s technology, which uses volumetric video to give fans a first-person view of what an athlete sees on the field. He called it “revolutionary.”
“You get to appreciate the ability of that guy at that moment,” Romo noted.
The scene was reminiscent of a keynote at Microsoft’s annual Ignite event in Atlanta two years ago when Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, brought out Sanders, the NFL Hall of Fame cornerback, who helped talk up a new fantasy football bot that the company never actually rolled out to consumers.
Romo’s appearance was one of several sports-related topics Krzanich addressed during the keynote. He talked about Intel’s virtual reality streaming plan at the upcoming Winter Olympics, and helped demo a new way to watch NFL games in VR with fantasy football data overlaid on a user’s view. Krzanich also noted Intel’s technology used in esports and race car driving.
Intel has been investing in sports for several years now, mainly using its technology to enhance the viewing experience for fans or improve athlete performance. The company spotlighted sports during its CES keynote last year, and did so in 2016 as well.
Kraznich kicked off the keynote by addressing concerns about the Meltdown and Spectre microprocessor vulnerabilities impacting many of the world’s chips.