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Tokyo Olympics organisers announce interactive mobile app as innovation challenge winner

Tokyo Olympics organisers announce interactive mobile app as innovation challenge winner
March 3, 2020

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee has announced HACKist teamFFF as the winners of their Open Innovation Challenge technology competition.

The challenge, co-sponsored by Alibaba Cloud and Intel, was launched last September as a technology to find new ways for spectators to become involved during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With 29 entries submitted from teams in Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Chinese Taipei and the US, the Japanese HACKist teamFFF team was awarded the gold prize.

The team developed a mobile application which interacts with spectators’ portable fans during events, adjusting the power of a user’s fan depending on the state of the competition and the performance of their nominated team athletes.

Takafumi Ooyama, a member of the winning team, commented “thinking about ‘sport’ and ‘technology’, there have always been a number of ways for people to catch sporting events, including via live broadcasts. But we approached this wondering whether technology could enable people to have a more realistic experience.

“There aren’t many of those kinds of solutions around and we were feeling our way a bit, so when we managed to create ours, we all thought ‘wow’ and were so happy. We hope more and more of these kinds of applications will be developed in the future.”

Takashi Tachi, Tokyo 2020’s Executive Director of Technology Services, added “the cooperation of Alibaba Cloud and Intel and the support of the IOC were key factors in the success of this Open Innovation Challenge - the first in the history of the Olympic Games.

“The contest focused on the new ‘urban sports’ and the finalists’ solutions were full of ideas for new ways of watching and presenting events as well as tips for the use of technology. I think there is still a need to further improve the visuals of some of these before they can be used in the actual Games. The organising committee will work to ensure that the ideas emanating from this contest will be one of the legacies of the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

The HACKist teamTFG team, also from Japan, was awarded the silver prize and won Tokyo 2020 tickets, with compatriots Team CGA claiming the bronze price and receiving official merchandise. Germany’s Team DaKa and Japan’s AOT received 2020 special awards.

HACKist teamTFG’s project was called ‘THE FASTEST GOGAI!’ and centred on the publication of a newspaper ‘extra’ in as little as 30 seconds by using AI-based people-detection automatic filming, data analysis and design creation.

Team CGA proposed an application that automatically adds effects to BMX competition footage, determines the names of special BMX trick manoeuvres and provides augmented reality displays using 5G.

Lower image shows the top five teams awarded prizes for their projects as part of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee @Tokyo 2020

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