Game change: The first Olympic games in the cloud


Hosted at an unprecedented time due to coronavirus disease, the 2020 Summer Olympics (marked as Tokyo 2020, held in 2021, and officially called the Games of the XXXII Olympiad) will be remembered not only by the remarkable performance of athletes, but also for being one of the most advanced Technology games ever hosted.

Cloud technology was used for the first time at the Olympics and, as a technologist, I am excited to see cloud technologies play an important role in driving the digital transformation of the Games. The cloud infrastructure enables innovative applications of the technology, so the Games has successfully overcome many of the barriers posed by the pandemic while creating a new standard for how the Olympics-and other key events- sport-be broadcast, organized, and engage fans in the future. Needless to say, we are already looking forward to the opportunities that cloud technology will open up at the upcoming Olympics.

The most technological change since the satellite move

By exemplifying how cloud technology is changing in Tokyo 2020, we need to look at one of the most important components-the global broadcast community that serves millions of viewers. . Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) produced more than 9,500 hours of content within the Games, 30% more than in Rio 2016, and with some 8K content for the first time. This year in Tokyo, if site viewers are not allowed, the role of broadcasters has become even more important for Games and global fans.

By partnering with OBS to support service delivery for broadcasters rights holders (RHBs) for the first time, a powerful and secure cloud platform called OBS Cloud is offering new- model for content delivery to drive operational efficiency and be more efficient. Fully cloud-enabled and showcasing the many versatility the technology has to offer, OBS Cloud is designed to drive real change in the media industry and to prepare it for all the opportunities presented in the digital age. .

Given the pandemic that is preventing fans from attending the Games, it is important that broadcasters around the world have access to high-quality content that can be distributed across multiple platforms to help share the drama and the feel. in Games. To this end, during Tokyo 2020, up to 9,000 short-form content clips were created by the OBS Content + crew to help improve RHB’s coverage. RHBs ’digital and social media teams can access clips from anywhere in the world to increase their own Olympic coverage. This technology enables broadcasters to cover Games in a more effective, robust, and innovative way, from anywhere in the world, ensuring a steady and consistent flow of broadcast content. throughout the Games, to the delight of millions of fans hungry for a piece of the action!

It is easy to understand what caused this increase in broadcast Yiannis Exarchos, the chief executive officer of OBS. In his view, the partnership with Alibaba Cloud changes how the Olympics are broadcast to the widest audience. He thinks this is “the biggest technological change in the broadcasting industry in more than half a hundred years since the start of satellite transmission.” That’s a strange landmark, given that satellite transmission was introduced to capture the Olympic broadcast for the first time back in 1964.

Also used as part of the post-production workflow, OBS uses the Content + interface for remote editing and conversion standards, a feature that will be provided as a service to RHBs for the upcoming Olympics.

Cloud -protected – ensures staff are safe

Of course, the event promoters and staff at work are the center of the Games ’delivery, and Tokyo 2020 presents its own challenges for them due to the intense heat of the summer. To illustrate the dangers faced by Game workers, more than 8,000 people in Japan were taken to hospitals suffering from heatstroke symptoms between July 19 and 25 this year, while Tokyo 2020 officially starting July 23.

I believe technology can help effectively respond to critical situations like these. That’s why we introduced a cloud -based solution to help reduce the risk of getting heatstroke for onsite working staff exposed to the weather. Through an intelligent ear device, the technology helps monitor staff body temperature and heart rate. Based on this information and the surrounding heat index (including temperature, humidity, and direct or bright sunlight), a cloud -based system detects the heatstroke risk level in real time. Alerts were immediately sent to staff who were exposed to a high level of risk, along with recommended precautionary measures-such as drinking plenty of water-to reduce the chance of getting a heatstroke.

The innovation was warmly welcomed by Hidemasa Nakamura, chief of the Main Operations Center of the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG). Perhaps more importantly, it was accepted by Game workers; As it happens, Tokyo 2020 is reported to be one of the hottest Olympics in history.

Keep in touch with the fans

Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented global fans from attending the Games. But technology has always played a positive role in solving challenges. Last year, we spent significant time working with TOCOG on a digital remote fan program called “Share the Passion.” Utilizing cloud and digital editing technology, this unique project inspires sport fans around the world to support their favorite teams and athletes on a more personal level, no matter where the base is. fan or the crowd. It leverages AI-powered technology to match real-time videos uploaded by fans to social media platforms, and broadcasts them to venues to deliver cheers, support, and enthusiasm for fans. athlete. You can imagine the excitement provided by this innovative solution, while filming the strong, positive uprising of fans and athletes alike to the admiration of the audience that filled the arena.

The connection is immutable, and the Olympics are a supreme example of connectivity between fans and athletes, different generations, and sporting communities across borders. To keep this amount, we created our first Cloud Pin, a cloud -based digital pin designed for broadcast and media professionals who work tirelessly to cover Games for all of us. The wearable digital device allows for free exchange of information, and is designed to help media professionals working at the International Broadcasting Center and Main Press Center connect with each other and exchange social media controls in a safe and interactive way. Worn as a badge or attached to a lanyard, it is married to the convention of exchanging contact details using real-time, cloud-based convenience.

Other exciting initiatives further encourage fan and audience participation. For example, the IOC launched The Olympic Store on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall. In addition to being a worldwide store for fans looking for official merchandise with the Olympic logo, it also serves as an information portal to help keep fans up to date with the latest news and information on Olympics. It’s a place where harvest and commerce come together to make sports fans even happier, while the Games bring a new era of fan engagement.

Unleashes the full potential of athletes

The other beneficiaries of cloud technology — and many would say the most important — are the athletes themselves, through a technology called 3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT).

In partnership with Intel, 3DAT gives listeners a professional understanding of what athletes do when it happens. In the absence of the need for motion tracking sensors, 3DAT uses standard video, AI, and computer vision to capture more than 20 3D points of the athlete’s body, updating the data. which has produced multiple visualizations to improve broadcasters ’communication for important events.

Looking forward to an even more exciting gaming experience

During our first summer Olympics, we were thrilled to have taken our role in promoting to a new level that would go beyond the usual commercial package. As an exclusive worldwide partner for cloud services, we are honored to provide a new cloud-based foundation for how Games is broadcast and run in multiple ways. Similarly, we believe the cloud will play an important role in changing the experience of how sports leaders broadcast, organize, and share in the future. We are proud of our role in helping Tokyo 2020 change the face of the sport and broadcast industry before the event. And we didn’t stop there; Tokyo 2020 is just the beginning of the digitalization journey of the Olympic Games.

Its content is made by Alibaba Cloud. It was not written by the editorial staff of the MIT Technology Review.



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