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  • Two TOP Sponsors Team Up to Track Olympians -- Sponsor Spotlight


    (ATR) Alibaba and Intel say the two companies will work together on “AI-powered 3D athlete tracking technology” for the next Summer Olympic Games.

    A screenshot of Intel and Alibaba's CES demonstration (Intel)
    Intel will provide its hardware and Alibaba will use cloud computing “to create a 3D “mesh” that allows coaches and trainers to analyze intricate, real-time, biomechanical data of an athlete’s movements”.

    Tracking technology will be developed for use during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and beyond, a release from the two companies said.

    “In our continued pursuit to help transform the Olympic Games through innovation, we felt strongly that focusing on meaningful technology for athletes was a natural next step,” Joey Tan, Alibaba Cloud’s GM of Global Strategic Accounts and Sports Business Unit, told Around The Rings.

    “Together with Intel, we are using real-time biomechanics to offer a new way for athletes, trainers and coaches to elevate training, and for broadcasters to provide fans with enhanced viewing experiences and unique insight into world-class athlete performance.”

    Intel offered a look at its 3D video technology during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics in partnership with Korea Telecom to showcase 5G capabilities. After signing as an TOP Sponsor in 2017, Intel said it would pursue technology with Olympic Broadcasting Services, virtual reality, 360 degree replay video, and working with drones.

    Alibaba is the TOP Sponsor for cloud services and e-commerce for the Olympics. Like Intel, Alibaba has begun work with OBS to migrate broadcasting services to the cloud, and has set up an Olympics online retail store in China.

    Both Alibaba and Intel debuted the new technology at the CES 2019 convention. Intel says the partnership will yield “pose modeling techniques and other AI algorithms designed to analyze the biomechanics of an athlete’s movements” which can be used for analyzing training and competition.

    “This technology has incredible potential as an athlete training tool and is expected to be a game-changer for the way fans experience the Games, creating an entirely new way for broadcasters to analyze, dissect and reexamine highlights during instant replays,” Navin Shenoy, Intel executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, added in a statement.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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