A producer edits a 360-degree highlight. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

As 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens threw for his first NFL touchdown Thursday night, a 2-man video crew from Intel was scrambling to create a 360-degree highlight so that Fox could broadcast it minutes later.

Why it matters: The immersive highlight is the latest evolution of technology Intel has been working on for the past couple of years, beginning with its 2016 purchase of Israel's Replay Technologies. Intel has bet big on sports, with then-CEO Brian Krzanich telling Axios last year that he saw it as a potential billion dollar business in the coming years.

Since then, Intel has sped up the time it takes to make its clips. It's also added a new option to show a highlight from any player's point of view, in addition to the signature view, which freezes the action and rotates 360 degrees for a panoramic image.

  • Fun note: For the second 49ers touchdown, minutes later, the crew decided to go with Mullens' point-of-view as he scanned the receivers before throwing to his eventual target.

Details: Intel's cameras are in 13 NFL stadiums (up from 10 last year), and it serves up highlights to broadcasters and teams as well as a dedicated page on NFL.com.

  • The company is also pushing ahead with another technology, TrueVR, that enables sports to be viewed in virtual reality, though the company has slowed its ambitions a bit as VR headset use has failed to live up expectations.

Yes, but: It's far from that point yet, with Intel and its rivals, as well as teams and leagues, still trying to find the right experiences that can either significantly complement, or be a viable alternative to, traditional TV broadcasts.

James Carwana, VP of Intel Sports, likens where the current state of his business to the early days of Netflix, when it was sending out DVDs through the mail, rather than streaming original content.

"I would argue we are in a similar phase."
— Carwana tells Axios

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
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In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

2 hours ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

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