Accenture tackling Rugby’s Big Data

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Accenture has been working on enhancing the public experience during live matches by unveiling Proof of Concept (PoC) using a wearable device to demonstrate a new way for fans to interact with live sports.

Designed by Accenture Mobility to provide an in-stadium, non-intrusive experience, the PoC shares curated content to a wearable headset in order to provide real-time, relevant data about the game as it’s being played.

A curator will push ‘cards’ which will carry clearly displayed date-driven insights to fans enabling them to get deeper into the game by seeing relevant data on players and key match moments. PoC has been built using open standards and Android SDKs so that it can work on a number of wearable devices with screens such as headsets and smartwatches.

Ben Salama, UKI managing director of Accenture Mobility, said: "A major part of Accenture’s role as Official Technology Partner to the RBS 6 Nations Championship is to offer the audience a new perspective on rugby."

"Sharing real insights about the game, the players and the teams with fans without them having to take their eyes off the field is a sign of things to come. There is enormous potential to transform the entire ‘match-day’ experience with this PoC, as expert curators control which content is shared and when. Their commentary, stats and background will help make everyone an expert on the game they’re watching from the stands."

Accenture recently reported in, ‘Engaging the Digital Consumer in the New Connected World,’ that in 3 to 5 years, 41% of 24,000 surveyed expected to buy a smartwatch, and 35% to purchase a wearable heads-up display. Accenture are clearly taking these findings seriously as they look to develop the fan experience.

Nick Mallett, former international rugby player and coach, said: "We’re always looking for new ways to engage existing rugby fans and enhance their viewing experience, and to encourage new fans to come and enjoy the live game."

"This incredible use of new technology brings the power of data together with the power and atmosphere of watching live sport. TV viewers have benefitted from additional information being brought to them by commentators and flashed up on screen for years, and now Accenture’s PoC means that same experience can be brought to people in the stadium too. This is a real revelation, and provides a glimpse of how fans may enjoy live sport in the future."

The Accenture PoC is exploring how to best deliver detailed anaylytics and live match information to small screens, as well as exploring wireless technologies such as wearables in high-volume areas. As concerns start to be raised over network capacities being overloaded, the development of more data accessing devices in hotspots could run the risk of accelerating the overload.

The first demonstrations of the system will be during the RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship using wearable headsets, due to being the official technology partner of the championship.

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