WIMBLEDON AND IBM have been one-upping themselves over this year's coverage of the championships.
As ever, the two companies have been working together to break new ground in one of the most technologically advanced sporting events in the world.
This year, once more, it's all about Watson and artificial intelligence (AI) and more specifically, emotion/face recognition as a way to trigger replays and highlights packages.
Crowd noise, match stats (also provided by IBM) and analysing player motion will also be taken into account as an algorithm when deciding what gets uploaded to the Wimbledon website or posted on social media.
IBM says that the new tech could create highlights packages in minutes instead of hours, with a human review before the final posting.
Emotional responses of players and crowd alike provide excellent markers. Fist pumping, raising arms, shaking hands, and of course, the inevitable shouting at the umpire will all help the AI decide what makes good telly.
Although Auntie Beeb works closely with IBM and uses much of the tech, it will, needless to say, have a huge team of human editors on site as well to provide the more whimsical coverage, and the full coverage.
But AI allows Wimbledon to offer more highlights packages than it would ever be practical to offer with a human team of editors and in the age of on-demand viewing, that gives Wimbledon a huge added value for viewers.
Also, new this year will be an upgraded Chatbot for Facebook Messenger offering tailored highlights and chat with Fred the Wimblebot.
"2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, with the first Championships following in 1877. We strive to ensure that our traditions are made relevant in the context of today and are determined not to rest on our laurels," said Alexandra Willis, head of Communications, Content & Digital at the AELTC
"We want to engage with existing as well as new fans around the world, to help them be part of Wimbledon 2018, especially in what will be such a competitive sporting summer. We want to tell the stories of the phenomenal athleticism of our great players, the gladiatorial nature of the matches they play and explain the sporting narratives that will cut through to our audience.
"IBM is critical to us in helping us place content with fans where they want to consume it and acknowledge the ever-increasing focus on video and new content formats in social media."
The BBC has confirmed that it will be extending its Ultra HD (4K) live streaming trials during Wimbledon, with coverage available on BBC iPlayer for all Centre Court matches, with Sky Q viewers joining for the semi-finals and finals. µ
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