Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic might be out, but IBM is still in, with the Australian Open tapping its tech to go beyond being just a sports event for spectators to watch from the comfort of their seats.
Now, visitors and online spectators are able to get closer to the action. Together with IBM, Tennis Australia has introduced deeper insights and new digital experiences for fans of the 2017 Australian Open.
As a result of IBM's expertise in transforming the fan experience at all four tennis Grand Slams and the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, Tennis Australia was able to create what it calls a "unique and engaging experience".
IBM and The Australian Open have a relationship that spans for more than 24 years, but this year, IBM has introduced further enhancements to the technology on offer for fans at the event and around the world. It banks on the concept of "cognitive".
The company has combined the data of the Australian Open with historical, cognitive, and predictive analytics to help fans fully comprehend the game. This includes IBM serving new, richer real-time player insights via SlamTracker, available within the mobile app.
For the first time at the tournament, SlamTracker is available through the Australian Open mobile app, offering real-time analytics on players and how they are likely to perform under "pressure situations" within a match, such as a tie break, based on their playing style and historical data.
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The SlamTracker app includes ball and player position data, depth of return in terms of tracking where the ball lands, and how far the players run during the match.
In addition, it showcases "Keys to the Match", which analyses eight years of Grand Slam tennis data and identifies three key performance objectives for each player, as a result of the analysis of patterns in the data and previous match-ups.
The new capability is underpinned by IBM's BlueMix cloud technology, to facilitate faster delivery of insights and greater scalability.
Bluemix is IBM's Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering built on an open compute technology, made specifically for developers to rapidly compose and deploy solutions in a lean start-up fashion.
It is also the home of about 130 services, including offerings like IBM Watson and millions of running applications, containers, and servers.
IBM Interactive Experience GBS partner, strategy, and design lead, Ian Wong, said the Australian Open mobile experience is all about connecting the consumer to the action on the court.
"Similar to other fans increasingly choosing mobile to consume and engage with their favourite sports, moving to a cloud platform gives Tennis Australia the agility it needs to react quickly in order to provide faster and more in-depth insights to fans," he said.
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