Tokyo 2020 announces winners of "Open Innovation Challenge"

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A competition promoting the development of solutions that will create a more innovative urban sport spectator experience

Press release

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) on Saturday 22 February announced the winners of the “TOKYO 2020 Open Innovation Challenge” technology competition. Co-sponsored by Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, and Intel Corporation (Intel) with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the competition — an Olympic first — is a global initiative aimed at encouraging the development of technology solutions that will create a more innovative spectator experience and to find enjoyable ways of bringing fans closer to the action.

There were 29 entries from seven National Olympic Committees territories — Canada, People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Chinese Taipei and the United States — participating in the first screening stage, with 12 of the teams successfully negotiating this following completion of a training programme. On 22 February 2020, seven of these teams participated in a final screening during which they gave presentations about the solutions they had developed.

Gold prize

Following evaluation by the judges, the “HACKist teamFFF!” team from Japan was awarded the gold prize, securing an invitation to attend the Alibaba Cloud APSARA Conference in China later this year. The “HACKist teamTFG” team, also from Japan, was awarded the silver prize, winning tickets to Tokyo 2020 events, with fellow compatriots “Team CGA” winning the bronze prize and receiving Tokyo 2020 official merchandise. “Team DaKa” from Germany and the “AOT” team from Japan received 2020 special awards. An opportunity is planned for all five winners to showcase their solutions during the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Gold prize winner HACKist teamFFF! team developed a mobile application which interacts with spectators’ portable fans during events. The result of a project entitled “FanForFun! – Share the Excitement of Olympic Sport by Mobile Fan”, the application adjusts the power of a users’ fan depending on the state of the competition and the performance of his or her nominated team athletes.

An Olympic First

“Thinking about ‘sport’ and ‘technology’, there have always been a number of ways for people to catch sporting events, including via live broadcasts. But we approached this wondering whether technology could enable people to have a more realistic experience. There aren’t many of those kinds of solutions around and we were feeling our way a bit, so when we managed to create ours, we all thought ‘wow’ and were so happy. We hope more and more of these kinds of applications will be developed in the future,” OOYAMA Takafumi, a member of the winning team said.

”One of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ ideals is ‘athletes first’, but in reality only very few athletes can actually take part in them. Similarly, only a relatively small number of people can watch events live. When it comes to sharing the wonder of sporting events with the world, so much depends on the power of technology. This contest produced many ideas about how we can expand on this concept and better communicate the excitement of the Games with those who are unable to be in venues; it was an event which made me realize how important it is to be able to share the fun of events with as many people as possible,” added special jury member OTA Yuki, Japan Urban Sports Support Committee Vice-President and Olympic foil fencer.

Tokyo 2020 Executive Director of Technology Services TACHI Takashi said, “The cooperation of Alibaba Cloud and Intel and the support of the IOC were key factors in the success of this Open Innovation Challenge – the first in the history of the Olympic Games. The contest focused on the new ‘urban sports’ and the finalists’ solutions were full of ideas for new ways of watching and presenting events as well as tips for the use of technology. I think there is still a need to further improve the visuals of some of these before they can be used in the actual Games. The Organising Committee will work to ensure that the ideas emanating from this contest will be one of the legacies of the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

“As the Worldwide Cloud Services Provider for the Olympic Games, we are thrilled to be supporting the Tokyo 2020 Open Innovation Challenge by providing our cloud computing resources to the contestants. Supporting new talent to develop applications for a better sports viewing experience is another example of our commitment to making the Olympics Games more engaging and appealing for a global audience,” co-host Alibaba Cloud Japan Country Manager SONG Unique said.

Added Intel Corporation’s Olympics Program General manager, Rick ECHEVARRIA, “We are very impressed with the numerous innovative designs created during this application development competition, and with the innovative use of products like including the Intel Distribution of Intel’s OpenVINO™ Toolkit and Intel® Neural Compute Stick 2. Intel will bring the world's top-level technology fusion to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, providing athletes, spectators, viewers, and tournament staff with the next level of experience. We will support Tokyo 2020’s vision to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the most innovative in history.”

Other winning teams

(some of the English project titles are translations for reference only)

Silver Prize

Team name: HACKist teamTFG
Project title: THE FASTEST GOGAI! deliver the world's fastest extra newspaper!!!
Application content: Enables publication of a newspaper “extra” in as little as 30 seconds using AIbased
people detection-type automatic filming, data analysis and design creation

Bronze Prize

Team name: Team CGA
Project title: Application automatically making movies more cool
Application content: Application that automatically adds effects to BMX competition footage, determines the names of special BMX trick manoeuvres and provides augmented reality displays using 5G during events

2020 Special Award by Alibaba Cloud

Team name: Team Daka
Project title: Climbing LiveRanking
Application content: Solution displaying the provisional rankings and estimated final rankings in real time during sport climbing events (known for their complicated scoring methodology)

2020 Special Award by Intel

Team name: AOT
Project title: Watch 3x3 basketball competition anywhere – extending the viewing experience beyond competition venues.
Application content: An AI system which creates video clips and displays these in augmented reality, allowing people to remotely experience 3x3 basketball as if they were at a venue in person