2014 US Open showcases smart technology
September 4, 2014
FLUSHING, N.Y. – Cutting-edge technology initiatives are on display at the 2014 US Open, from ball and player-tracking cameras to bio-sensing shirts, making the 2014 US Open a showcase of digital innovation during the two-week long tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
“The US Open continues to be at the forefront of embracing innovative technology,” said David Brewer, US Open Tournament Director. “These initiatives are engaging fans in new and exciting ways and broadening the US Open’s position as a pioneer in the sports and entertainment marketplace.”
Among the technology initiatives being utilized during the 2014 US Open:
CrowdOptic Technology with Google Glass
The USTA has given fans a first-person, behind-the-scenes look at the 2014 US Open through CrowdOptic Technology and Google Glass. Several parties throughout the tournament have worn Google Glass, including US Open ballpersons, performers on Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day and US Open tournament staff – such as those who update the large draw boards atop Louis Armstrong Stadium – to provide a unique, inside perspective on the US Open through videos posted on USOpen.org. CrowdOptic will also be featured during Thursday night’s Legends exhibition in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with the chair umpire and Jim Courier wearing Google Glass.
“Intelligent Production” Live Testing on Court 17
The US Open has served as a testing ground for “Intelligent Production,” an automated camera system employing advanced technology to conduct both player and ball tracking for delivery on television and digital platforms. “Intelligent Production,” which incorporates five cameras stationed around Court 17, is aimed at providing expanded production of matches and coverage is available on USOpen.org through Sunday, September 7.
IBM SlamTracker analytics technology enables fans to interact with tennis data via a simple user interface that delivers insights into US Open matches. As part of the evolution of SlamTracker analytics, this year’s iteration expands data analysis to include ball and player movement. SlamTracker now analyzes not only where the ball travels but also how far a player runs in a given match. This additional data adds a new dimension to match analysis, uncovering more patterns and deeper insight into player and match dynamics. In addition, SlamTracker’s “Keys to the Match” feature is built on IBM’s predictive analytics technology. Keys to the Match analyzes eight years of Grand Slam tennis data (41 million data points) to identify the three key strategies that will affect the dynamics of a particular match for each player in that match.
LG Ultra High-Definition 4K
In partnership with LG, the USTA will capture ultra high-definition match footage from Arthur Ashe Stadium during Finals Weekend for the first time. This match content will be displayed on LG ultra high-definition 4K televisions at retail locations worldwide. The 4K capture will be accomplished with three shadow-rig cameras utilizing technology provided by VER and Sony Professional and supported by CBS Sports.
Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt
Ralph Lauren, the official outfitter of the US Open, has used the 2014 US Open as a testing ground for its Ralph Lauren Polo Tech shirt, a pioneering, bio-sensing garment that collects data on heart and breathing rates, distance traveled and calories burned, among other measurements. The shirt, designed by Ralph Lauren with “wearable technology” developed by Canada-based OMsignal, has been worn during select matches by US Open ballpersons and during practices by NCAA singles champion Marcos Giron.
Location-based “push notifications” with iBeacons
With more than 25 iBeacon transmitters located throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, fans attending the US Open, via “push notifications” through the official US Open mobile app, can receive real-time information delivered to their smartphones based on their location on the grounds, from weather alerts to where to find autograph signings.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 720,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series, linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships and helps under-resourced youth and individuals with disabilities, and supports wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.