IBM stages Australian Open in Second Life

January 16, 2007 at 1:17 am 4 comments

James (MindShare regional team, Singapore) writes:

I just found this via Andrew (MindShare Melbourne) at his great blog Under the Rotunda  . Above is a rather crude demo video, but the plan is to recreate live matches. It seems quite ambitious. There’s a great write-up at The Age:

 IBM, which provides the IT services and technology backbone for Tennis Australia’s Grand Slam tournament, has built a three dimensional facsimile of the Melbourne Tennis Centre complex inside a virtual world called Second Life.

Over the duration of the two week tournament, data will be fed from games in the real Rod Laver Arena into the unreal one, nano seconds after happens.

The feed will come from game-tracking technologies such as the line-calling system HawkEye, PointTracker which plots shots and ball trajectories and Speed Serve which clocks the players’ serves.

Computers then crunch the numbers to recreate the positioning of the ball inside the virtual stadium. And avatars, 3-D characters representing the players, can simulate strokes made by Roger Federer or Alicia Molik – or whoever is playing at the time.

Interestingly, IBM has made it an exclusive experience:

The bad news is that tickets to the virtual centre court may be harder to come by than ones to the real thing. Mr Kasell says that, at least for the duration of the tournament, IBM is keeping this an invitation-only affair.

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Entry filed under: australia, content, digital, gaming, sports, trends, virtual worlds.

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