Another sign of the changing times: for years the fans have also embarked on long trips to follow their favorites and sporting events. Today, thanks to technology, the dynamics try to completely overturn.
Japanese telecommunications giant NTT is using the Olympics to showcase a new generation of technologies that can transport the sports experience wherever fans are, instead of making them come to the games.
Technology like this would have solved a lot of problems this year, with limitations on fans and spectators at sports venues. Better late than never, anyway: it can give you ideas for the near future.
How it works
In a demo developed for the occasion, NTT uses an augmented reality technology called Kirari to "teleport" from the fans the badminton matches from the venue where they take place (the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza) to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. A distance of about 35 kilometers.
In another, NTT uses fiber optic cables to allow fans to support sports and teams remotely in real time.
Even (even, I would say) this technology is not very usable in times of Covid. It is not a question of facilities: the state of emergency proclaimed in Tokyo means that fans cannot come together to support, either in presence or from a distance.
Sport "teleported" by the fans: everything is ready but ...
The technology for both remote experiences is fully developed today, as confirmed Shingo Kinoshita by NTT, but making it affordable will take some time.
With remote fan services, NTT hopes to finally be able to use 5G or 6G cellular networks to deliver a similar experience without the need for a fixed fiber-optic connection.
Kirari, the holographic technology behind the project, it has also been tested for music and other events, showing the potential to unite in-person and remote artists in a single performance.
Kirari is also at the center of a collaboration between NTT and Intel, to improve the visual experience for fans following the sailing races.
The companies have installed a 12-meter-wide 50K monitor at the water's edge so that fans on the ground can see the race without having to use binoculars. The real-time images of the race are made by three ships and a drone.
Not just fans: a separate and smaller 12K display has been set up in the main print center to allow even the media to view the action of the glider without having to travel to the site.
The Olympics are generally used as a test bed for new technologies and these Tokyo Games, which could mark the end of the Olympic Games as we know them, were no exception.