The 2019-2020 NBA season is set to start on July 30th in Orlando without any fans in attendance, but with the help of Microsoft’s new Together technology, there will still be screaming fans in the rafters.

Today, in partnership with the NBA, Microsoft is launching an initiative which uses Microsoft Teams Together mode, displayed on three massive 17-foot tall screens, to bring a virtual audience of 300 fans to the stadiums.

Together mode uses AI segmentation technology to bring people together into a shared background like a conference room, coffee shop, or arena, making people feel like being together in-person.

Alongside a view of their fellow fans, participants can watch a live feed of the game right within Teams, while players and viewers will still experience the energy and support of fans’ real-time reaction.

“We are excited to partner with Microsoft to virtually incorporate NBA fans into our season restart,” said Sara Zuckert, Head of Next Gen Telecast, NBA. “This unique live game experience will allow fans to maintain a sense of community as they watch their favourite teams and players“

In addition to the virtual fan boards powered by Microsoft Teams, the NBA also announced a slew of in-venue and broadcast and digital enhancements that will help create a more immersive and communal viewing experience for fans during the 2019-20 NBA Restart. Learn more about that here.