Alibaba Cloud to blaze a new sports trail


Alibaba Cloud for venues Image: Alibaba Group

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Alibaba Cloud’s new Event Simulation Services (ESS) is set to change the name of the game of how sporting events are organized and consumed. To this end, Alibaba Cloud recently revealed details of a number of AI powered solutions.

Alibaba Cloud is the cloud computing division of Chinese technology giant, Alibaba.

ESS, which will run on cloud and be powered by elastic compute, will facilitate event organizers to virtually plan the layout of indoor venues, optimize the position of equipment and facilities and do away with the need to move or commission pieces of physical kit.

The ESS will also enable broadcasters to simulate and test different camera angles before setting up camera tracks to offer audiences the best point of view. The solution will also give organizers insights into post-event analysis.

It is being hoped that the ESS will enable organizers to better manage their time when big-ticket events are held where crowd management and access control can becomes a lengthier and cumbersome affair.

Digital badge system, another innovation developed by Alibaba Cloud, is all set to make paper tickets passé. The system can be employed to embed access control and essential event information with digital accreditation and the entire exercise to print paper tickets will become redundant thus reducing the risk of access pass counterfeiting.

Within seconds, digital badge users can be furnished with information such as maps, event times and organizer contact details. Card holders can also receive card expiration notices and other real-time notifications, and in case of COVID-19 outbreaks, an option to embed health advisory information will also be included.

Alibaba Cloud has launched press conference on cloud for the ease of broadcasters and journalists attending events which facilitates virtual media briefings using proven live and on-demand streaming technologies.

Fan video hub has also been launched to provide an enriching and exalted viewing experience for supporters watching from home. The AI-powered technology can act as an efficient aggregator which is able to collect and filter real-time videos uploaded from around the globe to social media before broadcasting them onto designated online platforms or inside venues.

Selina Yuan, President, International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, remarked, “As a global leading cloud service provider, we are excited to see our mature technology innovations to be used to support the digital transformation of some of the largest international sports events.”

Yuan added, “For example, with Alibaba Cloud’s trusted infrastructure and services, we are able to work with stadiums and event managers to create even more thrilling and immersive experiences for fans, wherever they’re based. More importantly, health and safety has to be the priority at all venues and events, and our solutions help event organizers deliver on their post-pandemic responsibilities through reduced and unnecessary travel. We want to maximize the thrill of sporting achievements, while enabling event organizers to work safely and even more efficiently with fans and global broadcasters.”

Alibaba Cloud is the official cloud services partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In September 2018, in tune with the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), it launched OBS cloud, which is designed to modify and bring about marked changes in the entire process of bringing the Olympics to viewers.

Last year, Alibaba and Intel, another top-tier partner of the IOC, agreed on a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) designed to introduce novelty at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Alibaba and Intel will work in close coordination on technology solutions in a variety of areas, including 3D Athlete Tracking in Tokyo and 360 8K virtual reality (VR), 3D digital twinning and cloud broadcasting for both Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

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