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Bright future in sports content generation: real-time performance tracking & analytics

Novel technologies using real-time measurement will open up brilliant perspectives for the generation of sports content in the future.

MunichDec 11, 2016

We – the spectators and fans – love to follow every game of our favorite team, player or athlete. We travel to games in order to enjoy the live stadium experience, watch high-definition TV, stream on a tablet or at least follow a news app. As a sports enthusiast that I am, I want to understand every aspect of the game. I want to understand why my team won or lost, why my favorite player is performing or not. I want to experience the sports, the sports I love, in the best possible way I can. By being close, by feeling to be part of it, by understanding what is going on.

There is a lot of innovation helping me to increase my viewing experience: new camera perspectives, live and post-game analyses, virtual reality solutions and new performance statistics.

All these trends help me to identify with the sports, the team or the athlete. Hereby, the emergence of new performance statistics — driven by the rise of innovative tracking technologies over the last couple of years – play a major role. KINEXON, a Munich and New York-based technology company, provides a unique real-time sensor technology for sports events. No matter whether you want to track a live game in soccer, basketball, or hockey…or spellbinding action sports events.

Another company that shaping innovation in sports is Intel. CEO Brian Krzanich called the digitization in sports the single biggest change in sports over 100 years. Consequently, Intel has pushed their latest technologies to various selected sports events. One of those events: the crazy and spectacular Red Bull X‑Fighters finale in Madrid. In order to bring Intel technologies to the live event, they looked out for a partner being able to capture and analyze reliable performance statics to spectators in real-time: Intel found KINEXON.

For the collaboration, a team of Intel engineers collaborated with KINEXON to combine latest Intel Curie module with KINEXON UWB technology. The beauty about this solution comes by collecting accurate performance data in real-time and having almost no interference to any other radio signal in a stadium environment. Combined with an easy setup our KINEXON tracking solution is ideal for live events and real-time data transmission to broadcasting, live streaming or second screen applications. KINEXON has a successful history equipping Red Bull action sports events in the past: e.g., we equipped Red Bull Straight Rhythm in Pomona and UCI Downhill in Leogang both in 2014.

Intel and Red Bull’s idea behind equipping Red Bull X‑Fighters was the following: Without any doubt X‑Fighters is truly fascinating to watch. Especially, the live experience at the bull-fighting arena in Madrid is beyond comparison. However, there are at least two caveats to the sports: (1) for non-expert spectators the quality of the performances of the athletes is hardly distinguishable from each other and (2) the action does not translate to the TV or streaming experience.

Consequently, the collaboration between Intel and KINEXON aimed at bringing new insights and perspectives to the fans by quantifying the performance of the riders. Hereby, we captured and analyzed jump height, entry speed into a jump or trick time. Trick time measures the relative time a rider separates himself from his bike during a jump. In addition, Intel and KINEXON transited this information in real-time to the live streaming of Red Bull TV. The results are simply stunning. New insights provided by real-time statistics on each rider’s performance helped the audience to separate the good from the best. Feedback from riders, fans and broadcasters made this project a huge success.

At KINEXON, we are proud that Intel has chosen us as a partner in their journey to boost the digitization in sports. Even more, we are proud of our engineers who have developed an amazing solution over the last couple of years: the unique combination of a robust, reliable tracking technology that is real-time ready and mobile. Red Bull X‑Fighters 2016 in Madrid was only one milestone of a long journey ahead of us. Future sports content will be enriched by new statistics, new insights, and new perspectives on the athlete and team performance. In all kind of sports: No matter whether individual sports like motorsports, skiing or team sports such as soccer, hockey or basketball.

We are looking forward to being part of a bright future in sports content generation. Innovation will continue to change the way we consume and experience the sports we love.

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