12 January 2007

From Mixed Doubles to Mixed Reality

As a Brit, my childhood summers always had the Wimbledon tennis championship as a kind of vague backdrop; this seems to have inoculated me against too much enthusiasm for the game these days. So news that IBM has created a recreation of the Australian Open would normally leave me breathing in more air than usual.

This aspect of it, on the other hand, sounds seriously cool:

data is pulled directly from IBM tracking technology used to collect data on live Grand Slam tennis matches. This data is applied in near real-time to a virtual tennis ball and two participating avatars in a 3D reconstruction of the Melbourne Tennis Centre. Those watching the match are able to view the proceedings from the bleachers and also from the eyes of the players.

I also like Tony Walsh's description of this situation as "Mixed Reality".


Anonymous said...

Hi Glyn - Thanks for your comments. As one of those directly involved in the Australian Open project, I can tell you that we're pretty excited about the whole thing too.

I particularly like the term "Mixed Reality" as well. One of the distinctive features of this build is the way interactive elements incorporate real-world data. For example, when viewing the game through a player's eyes, you are not controlling the action, rather you are seeing what is really happening out on Centre Court. It's a fascinating perspective, and one that could equally be applied to other endeavours.


Brad Kasell
Program Manager, IBM Emerging Technologies (Asia-Pacific)

Glyn Moody said...

Thanks for that. What's really interesting is that this kind of stuff is obviously only the beginning....