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5G viewing revolution unveiled for Tokyo Olympics

The organisers of the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games have unveiled 5G innovations at venues for sailing, swimming and golf.

Through technology provided by Olympics partners Intel Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and NTT Docomo, spectators will be able to enjoy events in ‘hitherto unimaginable’ ways.

These will include broadcasts of ultra-high resolution videos and simultaneous multipoint videos leveraging the high-speed and capacity offered by 5G technology, as well as an AR experience that takes advantage of 5G’s low latency.

Spectators at sailing events have traditionally watched from nearby piers, often using binoculars. However, at the Tokyo 2020 Games, they will experience the events as if watching from the VIP seats on a cruise ship, or even closer.

Using ultra-realistic communication technology, 12K resolution video will be broadcast on a 50m screen floating on the water of the Enoshima Yacht Harbour, giving spectators the sensation of the races being held right in front of their eyes. A similar broadcast will be provided simultaneously at the Big Sight in Tokyo, the location of the Tokyo 2020 Main Press Centre, aimed at providing the media with a more realistic viewing experience.

Spectators in specific seats at swimming competitions will be provided with wearable AR devices which will display detailed race information during events.

Using ultra-fast 5G technology, data will be transmitted swiftly to the AR devices and spectators will be offered the brand new experience of watching swimming competitions amid the excitement of the live venue while being offered detailed event information in real time.

Fans of golf have different preferences when it comes to watching events at the course. Some like to watch from a fixed spot, while others prefer to follow their favourite players around the course.

To meet these different needs, Tokyo 2020 will provide a variety of innovative viewing experiences. Taking advantage of 5G’s high-speed large-capacity and low-latency technology, spectators at Tokyo 2020 golf events will be able to individually select and watch live videos of the action at multiple locations on rental devices provided by the organiser.

The broadcasts of ultra high resolution videos and simultaneous multipoint videos and augmented reality experiences are being supported by NHK, the Japanese public broadcaster, and the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association.

The Olympics run from 23 July to 8 August, and will be followed by the Paralympics from 24 August to 5 September. The games were postponed from last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Images courtesy of Tokyo 2020