You’ve probably noticed that this is a particularly sport-filled June. Not only is the football in full-swing, but the annual strawberries-and-creamathon that is Wimbledon has opened its doors too.
Where there’s a big sporting event, you’ll usually find big technology. And Wimbledon has tech in spades. From Hawk-Eye‘s computerised assistance for close line calls to the 41 miles of cable the BBC installs, technology is key to the tournament’s success.
Get Wimbledon on your phone
As you might expect, the organisers of Wimbledon haven’t been slow to jump on the mobile phone bandwagon. Last year they released an application called IBM Seer that allowed people attending the tournament to point their phone’s camera at the match they were watching, and superimpose information onto the screen.
That could be anything from statistics about the players to the location of the nearest bar. Well, you can’t expect a Wimbledon-goer to manage without a glass of Pimms for long, right?
This year’s version takes things further. Apparently, if you’re wandering around the tennis club and hear cheering, you can see video of what’s going on by pointing your phone in the direction of the noise. And you can check queue sizes without leaving your seat.
This video shows the new Wimbledon app in action:
Many people seem to think this sort of augmented reality is the next big thing for mobile phones. And we have to admit, the way it combines what you’re seeing in the real world with information from the internet is pretty cool.
However, we do have two reservations:
- There isn’t much for people who don’t attend the tournament. Yet in our experience, when you’re actually there, watching an exciting sporting event, the last thing you want to do is keep your eyes on a small mobile phone screen.
- It’s going to need a good connection. As football fans will know, the crowds at big events can make it hard to even send and receive text messages, never mind get a connection to watch streaming video. That could make the app a serious source of frustration.
Still, we’ll reserve judgement till we’ve seen it in action.
The IBM Seer app is free. It’s available for iPhones and mobile phones running the Android operating system – you can find it by searching for “IBM Seer” in the iPhone app store or Android Marketplace.
If you’re off to Wimbledon and have a compatible phone, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear how well this works in practice.