Alibaba’s cutting-edge technology helping to bring people closer together at Beijing 2022

06 Feb 2022
IOC News Alibaba Partners

Worldwide Olympic Partner Alibaba has launched an innovative cloud-based technology that uses true-to-life reality to help bring people closer together at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

Alibaba’s cutting-edge technology helping to bring people closer together at Beijing 2022 Alibaba

Powered by Alibaba’s real-time communication (RTC) solution, “Cloud ME” helps overcome COVID-19 restrictions and geographical barriers by allowing people to meet via life-sized true-to-life projection.

By stepping into a pop-up studio in the Cloud ME booth, users will have their full-body image projected realistically into a remote booth elsewhere, in which their projected personas will be displayed to meet and greet other users.

The technology was unveiled with a virtual meeting between International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Beijing closed-loop and Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, in Shanghai.

“Together with Alibaba, we are making history here in Beijing. For the first time ever, all core systems needed to run these Olympic Winter Games are hosted on Alibaba Cloud. Whether it is powering the Olympic online store in China, the OBS Cloud, or technology to support the world’s media here in Beijing, Alibaba Cloud technology is setting new standards and raising the bar to new levels,” said Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee.

“Alibaba is committed to the digitalization of the Olympic Games and providing the technology infrastructure to promote a more inclusive and engaging experience,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group. “We hope to unite athletes and fans around the world with our cloud technology, and allow the Olympic spirit to inspire us all as we celebrate the joy of sports.”

The Alibaba Cloud ME booths are available both outside and within the closed-loop of Beijing 2022 official venues, allowing participants and fans to experience these mixed reality social interactions.

Beyond a camera and a computer, the booths do not require any specialist equipment or optimised internet bandwidth to set up. Video and audio produced in the Cloud ME booth are transmitted on Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group. The proven RTC solution is powered by Alibaba‘s advanced cloud computing capabilities and extensive global network coverage.

Backed by the low latency, high availability and high concurrency features of Alibaba Cloud, the process can be completed within 200 milliseconds. The live recording can then be projected onto a remote 4K high-definition screen, generating a true-to-life hologram effect, reconstructing all details in high definition – including micro facial expressions and clothing texture – where are essential to in-person interaction. 

Alibaba’s cutting-edge technology helping to bring people closer together at Beijing 2022 IOC/Greg Martin

“The real-time communication solution powered by cloud technology plays a critical role in helping the world to connect effectively,” explained Lijuan Chen, General Manager of Product and Solution, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “Leveraging our global cloud network and self-proprietary algorithms, we aim to bring the benefits of real-time communication to various day-to-day scenarios including online education, interactive entertainment, video conferencing and other enterprise services.”

Alibaba Group and the IOC entered a historic, long-term strategic partnership in January 2017. As the official “Cloud Services” and “E-Commerce Platform Services” Partner through to the Olympic Games 2028, Alibaba is committed to helping the IOC transform how fans engage with the Games year-round and upgrade the largest sporting event's cloud-computing technology and spectator experience for the digital era.

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