Stories: Eagle-eyed SPECTO technology oversees sports performance at the Athletics World Championships in Doha
European Innovation Council pilot's funded company Angular Velocity Oy is participating in the Athletics World Championships in Doha with the technology SPECTO Athletics. The 2019 World Championships will see a quantum leap forward in graphic production and analysis, using the combined expertise of Seiko, Hawkeye, Angular Velocity and Deltatre.
Athletics fans around the globe are closer to the action than ever before as IAAF Productions introduces ground-breaking technology to the broadcast of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
The competition has made a concerted push to revolutionise broadcast coverage of athletics at its flagship competition, by introducing an array of new cameras that will provide innovative angles on the competition and behind-the-scenes pictures that have never been shown to the audience before. The IAAF’s partner Angular Velocity is measuring the actual sports performance: speeds, steps, angles and providing this info through a user application and to the TV broadcast stream. SEIKO is responsible for the official results service and official measurements (time, distance and height).
“A market with massive potential”
Finland’s Angular Velocity is using the device SPECTO, a tracking technology not much larger than a regular-size coffee server. It is equipped with an eye-friendly laser that rotates on a 360-degree axis at a speed of 3 000 revolutions per minute, sending short pulses and measuring their reflections to determine the location of objects – static or dynamic – in its vicinity.
“Angular Velocity Oy uses a combination of the light detection and ranging (LIDAR tool) and the IR camera technology to measure and provide data in real-time to a multitude of end users. This data is also retained and can be used for research and training or historical comparison”, explains Kristian Törnqvist, the chairman and CEO of the Angular Velocity.
The main goal for the year has been set for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, and the IAAF already extended an invitation. The Helsinki-based Angular Velocity and the IAAF plan to continue their partnership for the Nanjing indoor World Championships in March 2020 and beyond.
“The World Athletics Championships draw roughly a billion viewers worldwide. It’s a market with massive potential,” said Kristian Törnqvist during an interview to the journal Good News from Finland, published in June.
In Doha, he tells, viewers can have access to a small part of the measurement data through television and find additional details of the performance of athletes through the viewer app. A larger trove of data will be presented to researchers at IAAF.
“What’s good is that we’re not producing data only for TV, but data that can be used over and over again. We’re turning data into a service,” he says.
SPECTO Athletics project has received a Phase 1 and Phase 2 grant from the EIC SME Instrument program in 2018 and 2019. The total Phase 2 grant amount is 2.4M€ for the duration of the two-year project.
View Angular Velocity's information on the EIC SME Instrument data hub.