The new technology will use hardware from Intel and cloud computing capabilities provided by the Chinese firm


Intel and Chinese tech giant Alibaba say they are developing athlete tracking technology powered by artificial intelligence that is aimed to be deployed at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

The tracking technology uses Intel hardware and Alibaba cloud computing technology.

“Optimized to run on Alibaba Cloud infrastructure, Intel developed a novel technology concept called 3D Athlete Tracking that uses AI to analyze video of athletes in ways that are expected to improve both the training process and has the potential to enhance the audience experience during actual competition,” said Navin Shenoy, Intel executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Group. “This technology has incredible potential as an athlete training tool and is expected to be a game-changer for the way fans experience the Games, creating an entirely new way for broadcasters to analyze, dissect and reexamine highlights during instant replays.”

Intel highlighted that the combination of computer vision with AI deep-learning algorithms will generate a “3D mesh” that enables coaches and trainers to extract real-time biomechanical data — via multiple standard video cameras without the use of special sensors or suits — from which they can analyze performance and introduce new training enhancements.

The new technology leverages advanced pose modeling techniques and other AI algorithms designed to analyze the biomechanics of an athlete’s movements, according to the two companies.

Intel and Alibaba, together with other partners, said they aim to deliver the first AI-powered 3D athlete tracking during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

“We are proud to partner with Intel on the first-ever AI-powered 3D athlete tracking technology where Alibaba contributes its best-in-class cloud computing capability and algorithmic design,” said Chris Tung, CMO, Alibaba Group. “With our technological advancements, Alibaba is transforming the sports media and broadcasting industries. We continue to collaborate with industry leaders and drive innovations to create new experiences for the world to enjoy.”

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