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  • Lawrence Ng

AI, Broadcasting Through Cloud, New Tech Additions To Revolutionise the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Viewing

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other high-tech features will figure in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics happening from 23 July to 8 August 2021, which the International Olympic Committee boasted will have a 30% improvement in terms of content production compared to the 2016 Rio iteration.

intel alibaba 3d athlete tracking olympics

Credit: Alibaba

By applying Intel’s AI-trained 3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT) developed by Alibaba, the upcoming games will provide viewers with next-to-instantaneous statistics of runners in track and field competitions.

Aside from that, the Olympics will get a major revamp as it will be broadcasted across the globe with Intel and Alibaba’s Cloud, amplifying the efficiency and scalability of the broadcast. Meanwhile, 3D digital twinning will let sports fans appreciate 3D simulations of race tracks, camera deployment and seat viewing angles that audiences can access through 5G. Viewers can also walk through the Olympic park with these simulations.

Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) Chief Executive Yiannis Exarchos shared that his team stepped up this year’s productions to let fans at home experience the games as if they are in the same venue as their beloved athletes.

“It’s not about (the) consumption of technology, it’s about experiencing a better way of telling the stories of the greatest athletes of the world,” said Exarchos

Exarchos added that Ultra High Definition (UHD) television and High Dynamic Range (HDR) will bring the entire fanfare to life. UHD TV will produce a fourfold increase in pixels compared to high-definition transmissions, boosting the clarity of the footage. On the other hand, HDR will create vivid and colourful images. Putting the two technologies together will give fans around the world the impression that they are in the Olympic Stadium themselves.

Intel True View will capture all the basketball games in 360-degree videos. 4K cameras to be stationed at the Saitama Super Arena will make this a reality. These cameras are slated to produce 360-degree replays, bird’s eye footage, freeze-frame images and video from different areas of the court.

The coverage of the sailing, swimming and golfing matches will also be reimagined in 5G through the Silicon Valley company’s collaboration with Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and NTT DOCOMO.

Tokyo Olympics Swimming Tech

Credit: Olympics

Spectators sitting in specific areas of the Tokyo Aquatics Centre will be given wearable AR gadgets that will show important details about a specific swimming race in real-time. High-speed 5G technology will speed up data transmission to the AR devices.

Tokyo Olympics Sailing Tech

Credit: Olympics

For sailing, 5G and ultra-realistic communication technology will be employed for the benefit of audiences in the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. Viewers in the physical venue will forego old-fashioned binoculars for a better look at the sailing competitions flashed in 12K resolution video on a 50-metre screen. The screen will float on the harbour, giving fans the impression that the races are unfolding in front of them.

Tokyo Olympics Golf Tech

Credit: Olympics

Meanwhile, viewers at the Kasumigaseki Country Club will be able to choose which camera angle they would like to watch the golf games from. All of the live feeds of the sport will be powered by 5G. 

The inaugural sport climbing events will have a high-tech treatment as well as computer-generated graphics will create 3D representations of the holds and walls, visualising the difficulty of the sport to further engage the audience tuning in to the Olympics.


Written by Sophia Lopez

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