In Blog / Sport

Tokyo 2020 reveals how 5G will transform the fan experience

15 July 2021

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are ready to give the public an innovative experience: the latest 5G technology will be implemented in three Olympic sports for a new fan experience. It was announced a few days ago by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) which has closed a deal with the big companies Intel Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) e NTT DOCOM Inc. A brand-new sports viewing experience will allow spectators of sailing, swimming and golf to experience ultra-high resolution videos, to jump in the world of augmented reality (AR) and to fully enjoy the high-speed offered by 5G technology.

The project was born given the Tokyo 2020 vision: “The Sport has the power to change the world and our future”. In this context will be presented new experiments and technologies which will turn the Japanese Olympics into the most innovative ones in history.

5G Ultra-Realistic Communication Technology at Sailing 

Traditionally, spectators watch the competition from the pier, following the action from afar often using binoculars. This won’t happen this time. The audience of the Tokyo Enoshima Yacht Harbour will feel closer to the scene: thanks to floating 50 m-long screens with 12K horizontal resolution the navigation will take place in front of their eyes.  The high-speed of 5G technology will be used to broadcast videos captured by drones and vessels equipped with four 4K cameras. Integrated to this is an ultra-realistic communication technology called Kirari which will synthesise the videos and will broadcast them on the maxi screen. 

The same viewing experience will be offered remotely as well: at the Tokyo 2020 Main Press Centre, where a high-resolution LED screen will transmit images live. This will allow journalists in the press room to enjoy a realistic experience more than ever. 


AR at the Swimming Venue

Attending a live sporting event gives a high sensation of reality and a sense of unity with other spectators. However, viewers from a long-distance could feel a bit disadvantaged. For this reason, the AR project has been introduced, to give supporters 360° entertainment with an extraordinary perception of reality, providing data on the event in real-time. Therefore, at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre fans in a few dedicated areas, will have the chance to wear AR devices. As a result of ultra-fast 5G technology, competition’s data will be quickly transmitted to AR instruments to allow spectators to enjoy an inspiring experience.

Will be possible to experiment the augmented reality at the event from 25 to 27 July and from 27 to 29 August.


Multi-Channel live broadcast at Golf Venue

Fans of golf have different preferences when attending a live event: someone prefers to follow the competition from a fixed spot, others instead would rather move around the course. To meet every need, spectators of the Tokyo Kasumigaseki Country Club Fanzone will enjoy live videos broadcasted from different angles, available on tablets provided by the organisation. Therefore, everyone will have the opportunity to choose in real-time which frame of the competition to watch.  


The concept of the project

After 5G services have been launched, they are becoming exponentially more affordable. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and its partners companies have the aim to explore all the services that the new connection offers, implementing them and bequeath them as a legacy for future generations. 

In the Olympic framework, the project wants to give a new viewing experience of the sporting event transcending, thanks to 5G, three main barriers: distance barrier, time barrier and space barrier. In each of those three proposed Olympic events, the technology overcomes one of these obstacles.

In sailing, 5G’s high speed and high capacity to manage a relevant number of devices allow living a super realistic experience not only to the audience on site but also to everyone who follows from remote sites. Therefore, distance doesn’t represent an obstacle anymore.

In swimming, instead, the time barrier is broken down thanks to the implementation of AR. The technology allows broadcasting the sporting event on AR’s devices simultaneously to the live performance. This is because of 5G’s super-low time latency which permits the signal’s transmission in a very short time. Therefore, this improves the viewing experience of each one who attends a sporting event.   

On golf courses, the space obstacle is overcome. The speed and capacity of 5G let to broadcast on tablet live videos from different spots and angles. In this case, as well, a consistent amount of data can be transmitted and land at once on several devices at high speed.

As a result, the premises seem good and is shaping up an unprecedented technological breakthrough. We’ll have to see in action these innovations in Tokyo hoping that they will be soon implemented in other sporting events.