Broadcasting, Experience and Performance Transformation! A SailGP Innovation ‘Foil Cam’ Special with T-Mobile for Business

Broadcasting, Experience and Performance Transformation! A SailGP Innovation ‘Foil Cam’ Special with T-Mobile for Business

Sally Eaves 03/07/2024
Broadcasting, Experience and Performance Transformation! A SailGP Innovation ‘Foil Cam’ Special with T-Mobile for Business

Fans, athletes, coaches and operations teams alike were enthralled by the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix at Governors Island, New York this past weekend: two huge days of adrenaline-packed racing and entertainment!

And this, SailGP’s penultimate stop of the 13-event state of the art global sail racing championship, one of the fastest sailing competitions in the world! With every season pushing the innovation horizon, even under the most challenging of conditions, Season 4 has been absolutely no exception, and in this piece I deep dive into one area in particular – ‘Foil Cam’ 🎞️

Picture the scene! The dynamic SailGP championship comprises 50-foot foiling F50 catamarans reaching speeds of over 60 mph with high technology meeting high athleticism across 10 national teams of up to six crew, and broadcast to over 200 markets across the globe. And this is a data boom (pun intended!) with T-Mobile - SailGP’s exclusive U.S. 5G partner - reporting that each race boat transmits an incredible 30,000 data points across 125 sensors every second 📈

- That’s a staggering 48 billion data points per race day! -

And when heading into the New York race, with only 8 points separating 2nd and 5th place on the 2024 season leadership board, it made real-time data and its optimal actualization even more of a differentiator - across performance, broadcasting and experience alike! Congrats to New Zealand for their win in this iteration! Additionally, throughout the event there has been a huge focus on impact too – you can learn more about the environmental and social outcomes here, including details on how teams are evaluated on this criterion. Great to see!

So, what is enabling this continual arch of innovation? Well one key component is that of partnership which is an accelerating trend in this space given the synergy between sports, telecommunications and technology. SailGP and T-Mobile For Business exemplify this trusted and dynamic relationship with the latter bringing the power, performance, reliability and agility of its 5G Advanced Network Solutions (5G ANS) plus Network Slicing to SailGP and Team USA to achieve a high-bandwidth, low-latency infrastructure.

And the key benefits? Covering both land and water, the delivery of critical data in real time to enhance live broadcast, athlete performance, and fan experiences! Indeed, SailGP is one of the largest real-life use cases for 5G ANS. And this is very much a ‘power partnership’ too with SailGP debuting in Fast Company’s prestigious ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2024 at No.5 in the sports category, and T-Mobile for Business recognised again as having America’s fastest 5G network.

With the live event innovation including a 5G-powered augmented reality app, real-time streamed audio and enabling more views of the action, there is so much to explore and I recommend diving into the T-Mobile for Business’ social and web channels to learn more! This includes a great behind the scenes video with Ronald van Loon and Mo Katibeh CEO of T-Mobile for Business available now here.


'Foil Cam' Innovation!

But reflecting across all the innovation, ‘Foil Cam’ supported by other onboard sensors really caught my attention and that becomes our focus now. For context, this is a specialized camera system employed to capture real-time footage of the foils on the high-performance F50 catamarans used in SailGP. These cameras are designed to withstand the harsh marine environment, including exposure to saltwater, high speeds, and the impact of waves 🌊

The foils are critical components of these boats, enabling them to lift out of the water and achieve incredible speeds by reducing drag. T-Mobile’s 5G hybrid network from 5G ANS unlocks more rugged and dynamic camera deployments and camera angles of the foils on the water (Foil Cam) with 5G powered cameras that are connected with Peplink routers to deliver an upload capacity of 80 Mbps – or 8Mbps per camera on each F50 boat.

Key Benefits include:

· Enhanced Viewer Experiences and Fan Engagement

The Foil Cam gives spectators an up-close view of the foils and how they interact with the water, providing a unique perspective on the performance dynamics of the F50’s in action. And the end result? An enhanced fan experience with deeper engagement and immersion!

· Education and Knowledge Transfer

Showcasing the foils in operation, the Foil Cam helps educate and inspire a global audience about the technology and engineering empowering modern sailing. This can broaden sport interest and accessibility alongside the democratisation of data analytics, with the deeper insights into boat performance able to be shared with viewers to enhance understanding. This knowledge transfer can extend to innovation beyond sport, as exemplified by what we have seen in the space industry 🪐

· Technical Insight = Strategic Advantage

The Foil Cam footage offers teams invaluable insights into the behaviour of the foils during different manoeuvres, supporting advanced performance analysis and enabling adjustments to propel both speed and efficiency. Teams can utilise this footage to improve their understanding of the boat’s performance and refine their racing strategies accordingly.

The detailed and dynamic visual feedback available can lead to better decision-making and optimization of the foils’ capabilities. This is especially salient within SailGP as it has an almost unique open data policy within its league with each and every team sharing intelligence and having access to one another team’s data. I believe this is a great example of democratising the capacity to compete at the highest level ✅

So, after a dynamic race weekend in New York, let the anticipation begin for the Grand Final SailGP event of season 4 in San Francisco on July 13-14! 🏁

And I hope the information shared today helps provide new insights into the data, technology and partnership supporting the incredible sporting and human endeavour that is SailGP! The critical role of data and advanced connectivity solutions in modern sports is clear and today we are seeing a new standard in how data and 5G can enhance live event broadcast and operations, athlete performance and of course, elevate fan experiences and sports entertainment. You can find out more about T-Mobile for Business 5G Advanced Network Solutions here and stay tuned across social channels for all the very latest in this field!

All feedback most welcome 🗨️

Every best wish, Sally

About the Author

A highly experienced chief technology officer, senator for advanced technologies, and a global strategic advisor on digital transformation, Sally Eaves specialises in the application of emergent technologies, notably AI, 5G, cloud, security, and IoT disciplines, for business and IT transformation, alongside social impact at scale, especially from sustainability and DEI perspectives.

An international keynote speaker and author, Sally was an inaugural recipient of the Frontier Technology and Social Impact award, presented at the United Nations, and has been described as the "torchbearer for ethical tech", founding Aspirational Futures to enhance inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging in the technology space and beyond. Sally is also the chair for the Global Cyber Trust at GFCYBER.

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Sally Eaves

Tech Expert

Dr. Sally Eaves is a highly experienced Chief Technology Officer, Professor in Advanced Technologies and a Global Strategic Advisor on Digital Transformation specialising in the application of emergent technologies, notably AI, FinTech, Blockchain & 5G disciplines, for business transformation and social impact at scale. An international Keynote Speaker and Author, Sally was an inaugural recipient of the Frontier Technology and Social Impact award, presented at the United Nations in 2018 and has been described as the ‘torchbearer for ethical tech’ founding Aspirational Futures to enhance inclusion, diversity and belonging in the technology space and beyond.

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