Wednesday, July 05, 2006

IBM and Sport

As I am sure you know by now, I run this site and a sport site with news, views and interviews around everything to do with sport. Check it out while you have some time.
This was sent to me from IBM, it's a good story because it is rechnology being used in a real world environment...

IBM, the provider of technology and consultancy to The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), is once again supporting the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in 2006.

“Tennis is often seen as a very traditional sport, lacking the innovation of other sports. But IBM has pushed us to be more innovative by applying cutting-edge technology and first-class business consultancy to the tournament. Innovation is integral to the ongoing transformation of the Wimbledon experience for players, fans, press and club members alike,” says Ian Ritchie, chief executive officer, The All England Lawn Tennis Club.

IBM has brought a number of technology innovations to the 2006 Championships, including:


IBM has streamlined the ball boys and girls’ pre-tournament training process. Before they take up their positions court-side, the 180 AELTC ball boys and girls undertake an online training programme developed by IBM. Basic match rules, physical training routines and Wimbledon etiquette are key parts of the training. To access a live demonstration of the online training portal visit:

Bluetooth Hotspots

From the moment the tournament began on 26 June, tennis fans were able to tap into the magic of Wimbledon on their mobile phones via a number of Bluetooth hotspots across London.

Real-Time Identification (RTID)

This year IBM introduced a cutting-edge RTID (Real-Time Identification) badge-scanning technology, which enabled the AELTC to set a new security benchmark. IBM’s RTID tracking system, based on an extensive wireless network, will allow all players, VIPs, tournament officials, press and employees (including about 5,000 temporary staff) access to the site through gates linked to a real-time time/security accreditation.

Track Me Down!

Once inside the grounds, officials have access to voice-controlled tracking devices from IBM business partner Vocera Communications which will allow them to communicate with one another and locate each other in an instant using simple voice commands. The Vocera Communications Badge is a wearable device that weighs less than two ounces and can easily be clipped to a shirt pocket or worn on a strap lanyard. It enables instant two-way voice conversation without the need to remember a phone number or manipulate a handset.

Players Performance Report

Players competing on Centre and Number 1 courts are provided with a detailed analysis of their performance. Data captured during the game from scoring, ball tracking and other information systems is collated into a report that players can use with their coaches to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses to improve their game before the next match.

Virtualise It!

Virtualisation technology from IBM makes it simpler and less expensive for the club to optimise and integrate hardware, software, storage, networks and computer systems in open and heterogeneous environments. Virtualisation decreases costs, simplifies IT management and increases IT utilisation.

It is this virtualisation capability that powers Wimbledon Online. The AELTC needs a scalable web infrastructure to accommodate the peaks and troughs of data streamed to the site. Downtime is simply not an option when the demands of the world's top sporting players, media, onsite spectators and fans across the world must be met.

Last year, was accessed by 4.6 million unique visitors who visited the site 29.9 million times in the space of the tournament fortnight alone. The site, which runs on an IBM POWER p550, remained failsafe throughout the Championships, meaning that live match data was constantlavailable on the downloadable real-time scoreboard.

No comments: