Major sport events have been an ideal forum to showcase recent advances in technology. This year—from the World Cup to Wimbledon and the Tour de France—has been no exception.
A range of new technologies have been featured at the World Cup in Russia this summer.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) attracted much attention, and some controversy, with its first-ever deployment at a World Cup. It consists of referees who monitor the game using slow motion cameras and who are able to contact the referee on the pitch with recommendations. Video replays of contentious action can also be viewed by the referee on the pitch.
National teams benefited from Electronic performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS) which provided real-time data about players on the pitch. Teams could track such information as player position and speed using camera-based and wearable technologies. Combined with sensors and accelerometers, it can also measure physical parameters such as heart rate.
The British broadcaster BBC conducted two trials that brought the World Cup live to viewers in Ultra High-Definition (UHD) and in virtual reality.
For the first time, Wimbledon matches have been filmed in ultra-high resolution stereoscopic 3D and made available to spectators on the tennis tournament grounds via WiFi. Spectators can also direct their mobile phones to stadium plaques to access content in augmented reality.
The broadcaster BBC has undertaken a trial that provides certain matches to television viewers in Ultra High Definition (UHD) using the BBC iPlayer.
Artificial intelligence is also part of the technology offering. An automated Facebook Messenger bot provided its followers with up-to-date information.
In addition, algorithms have been used to curate the content for video highlights of each match which can be developed in about 15 minutes. The most spectacular moments of the match were compiled based on analysis of crowd noise, player movements and match data.
Tour de France
At the Tour de France this year, technology is being used to gather data about each cyclist. This data can then provide detailed information about the performance of each cyclists as well as additional insight about the race in general.
Each cyclist is fitted with a tracker on his bicycle which provides such information as speed and position. It can measure changes in pace as well as the composition of cyclist groups regardless of whether they are in the lead pack or in the back.
Using algorithms and predictive analytics, it is possible to make predictions on possible outcomes for each of the stages based on real-time tracking of cyclists and historical data from previous editions of the Tour.
All of these technologies – from video transmissions to virtual reality, sensors and cloud computing – rely on IEC Standards. The imprint of IEC Standards ranges from the recent cutting edge developments to the mainstay technologies on which they rely.
Specific details about IEC Standards used in sports can be found in numerous e-tech articles.
(Picture: markusweber93 / pixabay)