Alibaba Cloud to help elevate Olympic viewing with AI-enhanced multi-camera replay service

Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, in partnership with Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), used the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai from 16-19 May to test its latest AI-enhanced multi-camera replay service. This AI innovation from Alibaba Cloud is poised for deployment across various competition venues during Paris 2024, promising to deliver a dynamic and vivid viewing experience to audiences worldwide.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with OBS to expand the use of our cutting-edge cloud-based AI technology, aiming to elevate sports broadcasting to new levels of immersion and engagement,” said Selina Yuan, president of international business at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “As a pioneer in delivering intelligent sports solutions, we aim to work with OBS to redefine how global sports enthusiasts experience and engage with the Olympic Games. We look forward to further contributing to the Paris 2024 experience with our advanced cloud technologies.”

The cloud-based multi-camera replay system introduces an innovative way to view the Olympic Games from multiple angles for the upcoming Paris 2024. Utilising machine learning and deep neural networks, the system, powered by Alibaba Cloud’s resilient cloud infrastructure, reconstructs the competition scenes in sophisticated details, offering viewers a compelling engagement experience.

Through specialised video processing within both edge and cloud environments, footage captured from strategically positioned cameras around the venues will be transformed into cloud-based 3D models with high-quality textures, enabling the creation of virtual frames from new viewpoints and making actions such as rotation more smooth and realistic, thus providing an immersive and cohesive 3D reconstruction of the competition scenes.

Alibaba Cloud’s computing architecture and proven cloud technologies facilitate the near real-time processing of high-precision 3D reconstruction and video rendering.

During Paris 2024, the AI-enabled replay system will be implemented at 12 competition venues for events such as beach volleyball, tennis, judo and rugby. The multi-angle video content will make available through OBS’s production system, enriching coverage of the Olympic Games through cloud broadcasting with a range of dynamic and lifelike replay footage for global media rights holders.

First introduced at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 for curling and speed skating events, the multi-camera replay system was used to immerse fans in the action, allowing them to experience critical competition moments from a variety of optimal angles. With more AI features and deployment at more competition scenes, the innovation is to help elevate the broadcast of the Olympic Games to a new level.

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