Written by IBM Corporation
The All England Lawn Tennis Club and IBM last week unveiled smart mobile applications designed to transform how fans access information and keep up with the action at Wimbledon 2009. Since 1990 IBM has worked with the Wimbledon team to send the captured score and statistical data around the world in an instant, keeping on-site broadcasters, media and tennis fans up to date with all the latest scores and statistics.
The Seer Android trial version features location-aware visualization technology developed for the T-Mobile G1. The augmented reality application acts as a real-time guide and interactive map of the 2009 tournament allowing selected users to see what others can't, as well as providing up-to-the-second scores.
The Seer Aggregator is a downloadable Twitter application enabling fans to receive specific Wimbledon real-time "tweets" from a variety sources, including players, commentators and a team of IBM scouts at the event.
"These smart applications were designed with tennis fans in mind and add a whole new dimension to the event whether you are attending in person or sitting in your garden 5,000 miles away," says Rob McCowen, marketing director at The AELTC. "I can see the incredible potential here to change the way people will engage with major sporting and other events both now and in the future, as the applications help address common challenges such as getting lost, encountering queues, or momentarily missing some of the action."
"IBM has always been committed to helping the All England Club improve everybody's experience at Wimbledon by making better sense of the data and information that is all around us," said Alan Flack, IBM client executive for the AELTC. "We recognized that people come to Wimbledon to watch tennis, so anything we can do to help make their day smoother, to help them find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently just makes their visit more enjoyable. By exploring new technologies, we can bring information to life by making it more useful, engaging and accessible."
Seer Android Beta
The Seer Android Beta is an innovative application being tested at Wimbledon 2009, that takes a live video feed from the handset's camera, and superimposes content and data associated with various points of interest into that video stream.
From tennis to food courts, points of interest throughout the Wimbledon grounds have been plotted using GPS. By making use of the T-Mobile G1's digital compass and precise GPS coordinates, the application offers a "heads-up display" to show the user what they are looking at. It augments this with other live data from the scoring systems and IBM scouts reporting from around the grounds, to give the user a comprehensive and dynamic insight into their surroundings. For instance, pointing the camera lens towards a court will not only identify the court number, but also display details about the current and subsequent matches.
Seer Android Beta users can also use the phones' Map view, which pinpoints their location on a detailed map of the grounds, and can be used as a way finder. The Timeline view is an aggregation of news feeds and updates from IBM scouts, and allows users to see in real-time what is happening around the site. And a handy 'Radar' function indicates the user's current position and nearby points of interest within range.
IBM will be demonstrating the application using T-Mobile G1 during the tournament, giving fans an opportunity to interact with the future of sporting applications.
The Seer Aggregator is a Twitter application that aggregates all Wimbledon-based content into one channel. It's a straightforward but intuitive way for fans to make sense of all the action taking place during the two weeks of the tournament. With its easy-to-use filtering menu system, fans onsite at Wimbledon and around the world can tune into the information that interests them the most.
IBM scouts will be onsite throughout the duration of the tournament providing firsthand accounts and real-time updates regarding queues, seat availability, taxis, general travel information, live match updates and order of play.
The Twitter Aggregator will work with most Java-enabled mobile handsets and is available for download from www.wimbledon.org/ibm. These tweets will also be available to all Twitter users at www.twitter.com/IBMScout.
IBM and Wimbledon
IBM is the Official Supplier of Information Technology and IT Consultancy to The AELTC who stage The Championships. Since 1990, IBM has worked with the Club to introduce new technologies that help bring the wealth of real-data captured during The Championships to life.
Around 40 data-entry staff are needed every year to analyze each shot played across some 600 matches for the two-weeks of The Championships. IBM sends the captured data around the world in an instant, keeping on-site broadcasters, media and tennis fans everywhere up to date with all the latest scores and statistics. Detailed analytical reports for the players are also available as soon as the match has been completed.
Wimbledon.org is but one example of this long-standing partnership's success and this year, the official tournament site features increased options for people to personalize their Wimbledon experience. Visitors can follow the progress of their favorite players, view video highlights of the day's action and get scores and results delivered in real-time. It's an increasingly interactive, engaging and personalized online experience that draws fans, players and the media in ever-greater numbers - last year Wimbledon.org attracted over 10 million visitors during the tournament fortnight alone.