12 Sep 2019
Worldwide Olympic Partner Intel has revealed how its world-class technology will help enhance the experience for athletes, fans and viewers during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as benefiting Games organisers.
In partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (Tokyo 2020) and other Games partners, Intel’s ground-breaking technology will bring innovations to the Games across a wide range of areas, from 5G platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to immersive media and esports.
“After a very successful PyeongChang 2018, we’re excited to partner with Intel once again to bring the next era of technology to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services. “Our extended collaboration with Intel allows us to provide the best experiences and technology to all Olympic fans who attend our events and those viewing around the world.”
Olympic experiences more immersive than ever before
Combining the experience of the IOC and the technical expertise of Intel, virtual reality technology will be used to support Tokyo 2020 to become operationally ready, with VR training being utilised to create an immersive learning experience for key managers at competition venues.
Intel’s VR training system improves training effectiveness with a more realistic experience for those learning and more accurate/objective feedback. Powered by Intel® Xeon® and Intel Core processors, VR can lower costs and increase training efficiency.
“Intel is focused on delivering world-class technology integrations at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to improve the experience for athletes, attendees, viewers and Games staff while also demonstrating how technology can transform businesses. We are excited to make the first of a series of announcements about our role in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said Rick Echevarria, General Manager of Intel’s Olympics Programme. “The Winter Games in PyeongChang represented our first collaboration with the IOC and we look forward to extending and deepening that relationship in the years ahead.”
Intel is committed to making Tokyo 2020 the most innovative Olympic Games in history through 5G technologies and infrastructure platforms that are paving the way to develop gigabit connectivity, new mobility solutions, more immersive viewership experiences, cutting-edge smart city applications and advanced broadcasting services.
This includes working with Cisco – the local partner for networking equipment – to deliver a connected and secure Games experience. Intel’s innovation technologies – including the Xeon Processor, SOC and SSD – are the foundation of Cisco’s secure, reliable and flexible network, supporting the Olympic Games operations in executing mission-critical networks on the largest stages in the world, connecting 42 competition venues including the Olympic Stadium and non-competition venues such as the Athletes’ Village, Tokyo 2020 headquarters, broadcasting set-ups, hotels and many more.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Intel to make Tokyo 2020 the most innovative Olympics in history,” said Mr Masaaki Komiya, Vice Director General of Tokyo 2020. “Working together with Olympic Partners like Intel will be how the Olympic Games is ushered into the new age of technology and innovation.”
Together with partners, Intel is also creating Olympic experiences that are more immersive than ever before, including NEC facial recognition and an esports event leading up to the Olympic Games, and even working with Tokyo 2020 to use Intel AI solutions to create the theme song for the Games.
NEC facial recognition will provide a large-scale facial recognition system, “NeoFace”, for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Powered by the Intel® Core™ i5 processor, the facial recognition technology will be used to identify over 300,000 people at the Games, including athletes, volunteers, media, and other staff for entry points of venues and accommodation. Benefits include preventing risks related to identification fraud and reducing long waiting times for ID checks.
After enabling the first-ever live virtual reality broadcast of the Olympic Games during PyeongChang 2018, Intel® True VR will also offer fans an even more immersive experience in Tokyo, allowing them to deeply engage in the sports they love. Throughout the Games, Intel True VR will be deployed during a range of events – including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletics, gymnastics, boxing and beach volleyball – with content being distributed by rights-holding broadcasters.
Working with Tokyo 2020, Intel AI systems have also been used to create #2020beat – the official beat of the Games. Created from a range of 1,000 different sound samples reflecting the themes of “sports”, “Japanese culture”, “daily lives” and “nature”, the cheerful beat is formed by two parts: the call (base rhythm) and response (response rhythm).
Audiences in venues and live sites will hear the call part and follow the response part to clap their hands, supporting the athletes and creating even greater excitement.
3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT)
During the Games, Intel will connect fans and athletes like never before by enabling new Olympic experiences with technologies such as 3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT) – a first-of-its-kind computer vision solution that uses artificial intelligence to enhance the viewing experience for Olympic fans with near real-time insights and overlay visualisations during events.
Developed by Intel and hosted on Intel-based data centres in Alibaba’s Cloud infrastructure, 3DAT, in partnership with Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), uses four pan-tilt mounted, highly mobile cameras to capture the form and motion of athletes, before applying pose estimation algorithms, optimised for Intel® Xeon® processors, to analyse the biomechanics of athletes’ movements. The system transforms that data into broadcast overlay visualisations that will be available during replays of the 100 metres and other sprint events.
Intel World Open Esports Tournament
In addition, Intel has announced the Intel World Open esports tournament, which will take place ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, building on the first esports experience delivered at Intel® Extreme Masters PyeongChang. The Intel World Open will feature “Street Fighter V” and “Rocket League”, and kick off with online qualifiers in December 2019, where any player, at any level, can compete for a chance to join their national team.
A live qualifier event in Katowice, Poland, will determine which teams will advance to the championship esports tournament in Tokyo from 22 to 24 July 2020, leading into the Olympic Games. The live finals in Tokyo will host thousands of fans at the Zepp DiverCity venue. Intel will power all of the live Intel World Open events with the Intel® Core™ i7 gaming processor, as well as the PCs used in the broadcasts and complete backend infrastructure.
“We are excited Intel is bringing the Intel World Open esports tournament to Japan in the lead-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director. “As we explore the engagement between esports and the Olympic Movement, we are looking forward to learning from this event and continuing to engage with the passionate esports community from around the world.”