SailGP teams with Acronis for on-board athlete voice recognition system

Global sports league SailGP has announced it has teamed with cyber protection firm, Acronis, in a partnership that will see the development of an innovative technology solution that will bring fans closer to the high speed, high tech action.

A unique voice recognition system will allow athlete conversations being held on-board boats to be heard and shared in real time, giving fans a unique perspective of world’s fastest sail racing competition.

Through an innovative voice recognition project, every conversation onboard the national teams’ F50 catamarans will be tracked, transcribed and translated in real time. This will then be made available to broadcasters and viewers around the globe across a number of mediums and in a variety of languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin.

SailGP is continually looking at ways to improve its award-winning broadcast production and use data to bring fans ever closer to the action, as well as help educate them on the high speed world of SailGP. Being able to listen in on the key conversations – including tactical calls and race-winning, split-second decisions – will give fans a unique insight into what it takes to race at the highest level on the world stage.

The voice recognition project will also be an important tool in the team data analysts’ armory as they look at ways for the teams to continually improve and gain a competitive edge while racing boats that all feature the same design and technology.

SailGP CEO, Russell Coutts, said: “Technical innovation plays an integral role in everything we do at SailGP, and we are continually looking at ways to entertain with our unique sports property and excite our fans. Being able to listen to all of the onboard communications in the different team languages will truly bring another dimension to our broadcast offer and we are really excited to work with Acronis to add this to our award-winning broadcast platform when the league restarts in San Francisco in April 2021.”

Through the three year deal, Acronis will become an official Cyber Protection Supplier to the league, as well as Cyber Protection Partner to the France SailGP Team, helmed by multiple world champion Billy Besson, with its branding prominently displayed on the French team’s F50.

France SailGP Team helm Billy Besson said: “It is fantastic to welcome Acronis – a company that shares similar values – as a partner to the French team. We are extremely excited to work with them on technological developments that will play a major role in the future of the sport, as well as continue to find new ways to engage our fans. We look forward to our partnership together.”

Acronis’ founder and executive officer Serguei Beloussov said: “This is an exciting project to work on together with SailGP, and we are looking forward to seeing it well-received by fans once the league restarts next year. We are also thankful for the opportunity to work with SailGP to help them get #CyberFit by developing innovative AI/ML voice recognition technology to enable fans to have a truly unique insight into what happens on the race boats.”

Acronis is no stranger to working on technological solutions for high-performance sports teams. In recent years, the tech firm has kept data safe and developed innovative solutions for English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Eredivisie, NFL, MLB, Formula One, and Formula E clubs and teams.

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