IBM unveils smart mobile apps for Wimbledon

The All England Lawn Tennis Club and IBM today unveiled smart mobile applications designed to transform how fans access information and keep up with the action at Wimbledon 2009.

Since 1990 IBM has worked with the Wimbledon team to send the captured score and statistical data around the world in an instant, keeping on-site broadcasters, media and tennis fans up to date with all the latest scores and statistics.

The Seer Android trial version features location-aware visualisation technology developed for the T-Mobile G1. The augmented reality application acts as a real time guide and interactive map of the 2009 tournament allowing selected users to see what others can’t, as well as providing up to the second scores.

The Seer Aggregator is a downloadable Twitter application enabling fans to receive specific Wimbledon real time ‘tweets’ from a variety sources, including players, commentators and a team of IBM scouts at the event.

The Seer Android Beta is an innovative application being trialled at Wimbledon 2009 that takes a live video feed from the handset’s camera, and superimposes content and data associated with various points of interest into that video stream.

From tennis to food courts, points of interest throughout the Wimbledon grounds have been plotted using GPS. By making use of the T-Mobile G1’s digital compass and precise GPS coordinates, the application offers a heads-up display to show the user what they are looking at. It augments this with other live data from the scoring systems and IBM scouts reporting from around the grounds, to give the user a comprehensive and dynamic insight into their surroundings. For instance, pointing the camera lens towards a court will not only identify the court number, but also display details about the current and subsequent matches.

Rob McCowen, marketing director at The AELTC, said: “These smart applications were designed with tennis fans in mind and add a whole new dimension to the event whether you are attending in person or sitting in your garden 5,000 miles away. I can see the incredible potential here to change the way people will engage with major sporting and other events both now and in the future, as the applications help address common challenges such as getting lost, encountering queues or momentarily missing some of the action.”

Seer Android Beta users can also use the phones’ Map view, which pinpoints their location on a detailed map of the grounds, and can be used as a way finder. The Timeline view is an aggregation of news feeds and updates from IBM scouts, and allows users to see in real-time what is happening around the site. And a handy ‘Radar’ function indicates the user’s current position and nearby points of interest within range.

IBM will be demonstrating the application using T-Mobile G1 during the tournament, giving fans an opportunity to interact with the future of sporting applications.

The Twitter Aggregator will work with most Java-enabled mobile handsets and is available for download from www.wimbledon.org/ibm from 22 June, 2009. These tweets will also be available to all Twitter users at www.twitter.com/IBMScout.