NTT Ltd. powers virtual ‘global stadium’ experience for Tour de France fans

Telecommunications company NTT will be bringing one of the world’s largest annual sporting event, Tour de France 2020, using innovative technology to the fans so they can watch the race from their homes.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, 70 remote NTT employees will operate from five continents to support the three-week-long race that is currently ongoing and will end Sept. 20.

NTT developed a “Virtual Zone Technique” that brings together different technologies to deliver its Tour de France services remotely for the first time. This will keep staff safe while supporting the running of the race and providing an enhanced experience for fans.

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To create a digital “global stadium” for fans who can’t be at the roadside this year, NTT and A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation) use advanced, real-time, data analytics capabilities. Live data and analytics will be featured across multiple channels. A.S.O is a company that owns, designs, and organizes international sporting events. It specializes in the “non-stadia” events and has in-house knowledge of professions linked to an organization, media, and sales of sports events including:

A brand new Augmented Reality Data (AR) app: In addition to the live race footage, the app will provide selected users with a unique way of viewing and interacting with live race data and the amazing landscapes of the Tour de France. For the first time this will allow fans to appreciate the scale of the event in 3D from their home. With an unprecedented view from the sky, they will see the riders among the mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes, and have access to interactive live data on the race whilst feeling like they’re actually viewing the race from a helicopter.

Additional data for live television broadcast: NTT Ltd. and A.S.O will provide new data insights and visualizations as part of the live television broadcast. This will provide a fresh way of seeing and understanding the race, and how each team is performing.

The @letourdata social channel: The data shared across the @letourdata channel will allow fans to keep up to date with what is going on with the race, even if they’re on the move. It will also provide deeper insight into how the cyclists are performing, their team strategies, and predictions from the #NTTPredictor.

The official ‘Tour de France Fantasy’ game: Gamification of the race will enhance the experience for fans, with machine learning predictions provided by #NTTPredictor at every stage. Fans are able to immerse themselves in the Tour de France experience, competing with other like-minded fans!

The Tour de France Race Center: The live-tracking platform of the Tour de France has also been completely re-developed for 2020 to enhance the user experience, and leverage cutting edge cloud platform services. Race Centre 2.0 provides a second screen experience, showcasing key race data, live rider telemetry and other insights including race predictions and race commentary.

NTT’s managed services will safeguard the operational success of the race. Managed collaboration services will enable the global technology support team to communicate and a secure-by-design approach will enable real-time threat management, ensuring security.

For its 40,000 employees, NTT Ltd. has also launched its Tour de France Hackfest – a competition where anyone from across the business can suggest future innovations for the race in support of creating the largest connected stadium in the world. The initiative encourages employees to think differently and celebrates the company’s innovation culture.