Tennis fans are being offered the opportunity to 'feel' the excitement and drama of Wimbledon in a completely different way this year thanks to an innovative technology partnership between Jaguar and the famous SW19 club.
The iconic car marque's Feel Wimbledon project seeks to use bio-reactive, motion capture and audio sensors to measure the moods and emotions of crowds at this year's championships, which begin today.
Whether it'll be the euphoric reaction to Andy Murray clinching a second title, the unbearable tension in a tight-fought encounter between bitter rivals, or perhaps even the unexpected sight of Sir Cliff leading another uplifting rain-soaked sing-along, Jaguar will be converting the crowd response into real-time graphical visuals that will be released via its social media channels and website.
Like T3.com, you're probably wondering how this all works. Jaguar tell us they're working with pioneering 'bionalytics' firm Lightwave to gather heart rate information from wristbands worn by spectators and measure the volume and intensity of on-court clapping and cheering. A bespoke algorithm will then combine this data with the social media response during matches to generate a unique visual signature.
The first glimpses of what tennis fans can expect emerged last week during a pre-Wimbledon 'purple carpet' event, where Jaguar used the technology to gauge the fan reaction to the tennis stars, celebrities and VIPs arriving at the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) Pre-Wimbledon Party.
A combination of sensors were placed along the length of the purple carpet and the data was used to visualise the energy and emotions of the fans on a bio-reactive screen.
Lightwave's bioreactive technology was also used at last year's SSXW, where revellers at Pepsi's Bioreactive Concert wore sensor-equipped wristbands that measured their body temperature and motion levels during a set by DJ A-Trak. The data was visualised on a screen and when certain excitement thresholds were reached 'rewards', such as smoke machines or confetti explosions, were triggered.
Jaguar is using the technology and Feel Wimbledon campaign to help promote its new tech-packed sport saloon, the Jaguar XE, which is currently being delivered to its first customers. You can see the results at feelwimbledon.co.uk and using #FeelWimbledon.
T3's top five emotion-drenched Wimbledon moments
If we'd been able to 'feel' Wimbledon in previous years, these are the defining occasions T3 would have captured and visualised…
1. Ashe defeats Connors – 1975
As if becoming the first black player to win a Wimbledon title wasn't sufficiently emotive, the context of the match generated additional frissons of tension as dignified underdog Ashe took on the cocky Connors and defeated him through a combination of psychological warfare and cunning tactical play.
2. Nadal ends Federer's Wimbledon run – 2008
In possibly the greatest game of tennis ever played, the two legends clashed in a final that went down to the wire and beyond. After nearly five hours of drama, Nadal saw off a Federer fightback from two sets down to triumph 9-7 in a gruelling fifth set in near darkness and almost unbearable tension.
3. Henman heartbreak – 2001
As an entire country dreamt the undreamable – a first British men's singles winner at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 – Tim Henman surged into the semis. With the Brit holding the momentum against beanpole Croat Goran Ivanisevic at 2-1 up, the UK held its collective breath and hoped. But then two rain breaks intervened and the rest is history.
4. Venus's ferocious fightback – 2005
In a hard-hitting and nail-biting women's singles final, Venus Williams came from a set down to complete a remarkable victory over Lindsay Davenport. The latter had served for the match only to lose a second set tiebreaker, but she refused to fold and the final set lasted 16 tense games before Williams' firepower won out.
5. Chalk flew up – 1981
Few recall who John McEnroe was playing during perhaps his most infamous outburst (it was Tom Gullikson) but no-one will forget the intensity of his disputed line call in the first round clash. “That ball was on the line. Chalk flew up! How can you possibly call that out?” bawled the New Yorker, in front of a visibly and audibly shellshocked crowd.
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