Tech Stack: Wimbledon, MLB and more

Visually impaired tennis fans, in their seats at Wimbledon, wearing GiveVision headsets powered by Vodafone 5G.

Featured image credit: Vodafone

Visually impaired tennis fans, in their seats at Wimbledon, wearing GiveVision headsets powered by Vodafone 5G.

Featured image credit: Vodafone

New 5G-powered headsets that let visually impaired fans watch live sport are being trialled by Vodafone at this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships.

Live footage is streamed from local TV cameras over Vodafone 5G to the GiveVision headsets. They then enhance the footage to suit the person’s specific sight profile, by bringing it closer to their eye to stimulate the photoreceptor cells in the retina (cells that respond to light), which means a degree of sight can be regained.

It is the first time this 5G technology has ever been used in tennis.

The headsets are being trialled for the very first time at Wimbledon by three visually impaired tennis fans.

After a successful trial, Vodafone is exploring the possibility of making the 5G headsets more widely available at future Championships, as well as at other live sporting events across Vodafone partners.

Vodafone’s UK chief commercial officer, Max Taylor, said: “At Vodafone we are committed to using our technology to bring fans closer to the action. Wimbledon is one of the most iconic moments in the British summer calendar, and we are proud to be able to showcase how the power of our 5G network can help make the sport more accessible to people.”

Major League Baseball (MLB) has become the first professional league to own a virtual world to gather its community from around the globe.

The MLB virtual ballpark, developed by Improbable’s Morpheus technology, joins the M² network, enabling the league to experiment with formats and new content. The inaugural event will take place on July 8 as a watch party during a live exhibition contest featuring celebrities and former star players, marking the first of multiple events for 2023.

MLB’s virtual ballpark will benefit from industry leading scale, bandwidth and rendering enabled by Morpheus. Other features include the support for social connection between consumers with natural voice chat, baseball-themed entertainment, one-click entry from any device via cloud streaming, and advanced interoperability with other metaverses within M².

“As we continue to enhance and prioritise the MLB fan experience through innovative technologies, this new virtual ballpark will become a great testing ground for the league and our fans worldwide,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB executive vice-president, media and business development.

Peruvian top-flight football club Universitario de Deportes has signed an exclusive agreement with telecoms company Andean Telecom Partners (ATP) to be able to offer fiber optic internet and continuous mobile coverage at the Monumental U Marathon Stadium.

ATP will develop a permanent multi-operator coverage solution in the stadium, which will allow cream fans to stay connected to their mobile operator’s network at high speed. 

The club said: “Universitario de Deportes is committed to providing a better experience to the fans who come to the largest stadium in the country every week, looking for initiatives that keep it at the forefront of the great stadiums in the world.”

Bolton Wanderers has appointed ADI to lead a stadium-wide digital transformation ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

The Toughsheet Community Stadium’s existing scoreboard will be replaced with two new 10mm Superwide LED screens in the South East and North West corners, as well as a 360 degree mid-tier LED ribbon and a 4 sided camera-facing digiBOARD perimeter system.

Alongside the hardware, ADI will be responsible for delivering a fully remote matchday production service for the English Football League One team through a Live Venue Broadcast Fibre Network, working closely with the club’s in-house media and marketing team every match day to ensure an immersive experience for supporters.

Neil Hart, chief executive of Bolton, said: “Not only will this state-of-the-art technology improve the way in which supporters take in a Bolton Wanderers home game, this is a fantastic way for the Club to generate additional revenue through the use of advertising in collaboration with our commercial partnerships.”