Strawberries and Cream, Pimms, AI… all the things that make Wimbledon what it is today. Every July, thousands of tennis lovers from all over the world head to the South West of London in the hope of seeing some serious tennis.
While most spectators look forward to seeing Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in action, we love to see the technology behind the game that makes the tournament so accessible to many.
Let’s take a look at some of the technologies, both old and new, used at the oldest tennis championships in the world…
Of course, let’s start with the one we all know. Since its introduction in 2007 there have been points lost and points gained by players, causing heartbreak and elation but we can all agree that it has transformed the decision-making process.
The key piece of technology gives players the chance to challenge line calls. The system is made up of around 60 high-res pictures every second. When a player questions a line call, the images are processed, using AI technology, by a central computer system to determine if the ball was in or out.
It’s safe to say the system is far more accurate than the human eye, even with an error margin of 2.2mm. Close call.
AI Video System
Since the first Grand Slam tournament in 1887, each decade the tournament has seen new features and advances introduced but in the digital age we live in now.
In 2019, a new Artificial Intelligence system was introduced to bring video highlights to fans wherever they are. Using machine learning technology, the system has been trained to identify key moments in matches by analysing images and sounds.
It detects everything from crowd cheering to certain gestures made by players, it can even identify the exact moment ball is hit, making the highlights clips even more precise. So what does this mean? It means the AI machine can do all the hard work instead of humans!
New Progressive Web App
Also new to this years’ championships is a free progressive web app that is designed to ensure everyone who wants to enjoy Wimbledon, can. The benefits of using a progressive web app include:
- Low data usage – particularly useful in developing countries where data is expensive.
- No updates are required – Users always have the most up-to-date version of the app as the updates happen ‘on-use’.
- Costs are low – For companies that develop PWAs do so at a fraction of the cost of a native app.
This new feature allows for tennis fans from around the world to enjoy a seamless Wimbledon experience, wherever they are.
As if the action on court isn’t exciting enough, the technology at the games is what really gets us going at ANS. Imagine what the world of tennis could look like in 50 years…
If you love sport and you love tech, you should check out our blog, Is technology damaging Football’s best characteristics?
Posted by Kate Auchterlonie