Infosys adds French polish via tennis tech
Software & Web Development

Infosys adds French polish via tennis tech

Tennis fans were hooked on the double-spectacle of Rafael Nadal returning to winning ways and new sensation Ashleigh Barty bursting through from obscurity to lift the Ladies competition at the French Open recently. But like so many other sporting events around the world, the experience was enhanced by technological innovation.

Indian outsourcing giant Infosys was Roland-Garros' official "digital innovation partner" and the firm used the event to unfurl a wide range of tech shots, from artificial intelligence and machine learning to data analytics, social sentiment analysis, and virtual and augmented reality. Visitors to the onsite fan zone at Roland-Garros could ‘play', thanks to a VR installation with a simulacrum of the Philippe-Chatrier court, even communicating with other fans via headsets. 

Back in the real, non-virtual world, digital services let fans see key data through the MatchBeats live scores service; Courtvision provided analytics visualised in 3D; Stats+ re-stacked data to reflect match outcome influences; Social HeatMap depicted how fans engage on social media; and Slam Leaderboards ranked players based on their match stats.

These huge events are effective, if pricey, ways for IT vendors to build buzz and try out services without some of the demands of the usual commercial offerings. VR, for example, has turned out to be a slow burn and this sort of showcase is a way to turn up the heat again and try new things. And, as with motor racing and the automotive sector, tools that start out at the high-end can trickle down to influence the everyday.

"With VR and with any technology, the hype cycle gathers scale and then it takes time before widespread adoption occurs," said Pravin Rao, Infosys COO. "People have been talking for years about cloud but it's only now that for many companies it's going mainstream, and there aren't many lighthouse wins in IoT. A lot of use cases have to be discovered. This is a platform to showcase digital technologies."

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