The upcoming Summer 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo is set for a rather unusual upgrade for its track and field event. It will be featuring augmented reality overlays, that will aid in keeping track (pun intended) of whatever is going on with each session.
3D Athlete Tracking, or 3DAT, is the name of the technology that will be used to achieve this feature. Explained briefly, it is an integrated system that uses computer vision to detect important elements within the track, artificial intelligence to analyze the event at a statistical level, and augmented reality in order to relay all translated data live as it is processed.
In other words, those watching the broadcast live will be able to see each track and field event with a viewer interface that very much resembles a video game. The effect would probably be even more immersive if actual attendees are wearing or holding the appropriate AR equipment. Though there is no word if it would actually be implemented for real AR hardware.
Intel briefly demoed this technology at its official introduction video. Olympic Channel Services Executive Director Yiannis Exarchos explained in it what it does in detail, and how it is capable of executing such feature.
Aside from 3DAT, he also explains that that other older media coverage technologies will be used to integrate more data for each event. as well as VR. He stated that “Olympic viewers will be able to experience the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, in a more immersive way”, pertaining to VR.
Being able to watch the Summer 2020 Olympic Games with more statistical data does seem quite interesting. The sample footage of the concept, for instance, shows the overlay creating a line that shifts color depending on the speed of the athlete. This will provide viewers with a very clear point-per-point analysis of how velocity changes throughout the course.
Then again, this is not the first time real-time augmented reality-like elements were incorporated in a live broadcast of a sports event. The U.S.-based National Hockey League, for example, implemented a crude method of showing viewers the path of the puck as it moves all around the court.