POWER OF INNOVATION
Cutting-edge NTT communication technology that will change the world
Immersive, realistic coverage of road cycling events
Advanced innovation and connectivity for the future
The world of sport is in the midst of a major transformation. In the leadup to 2020, NTT Limited has made a major team announcement.
Established in London in July 2019, NTT Limited is an amalgam of 30 companies including Dimension Data, a key sponsor of the team.
As a result, Team Dimension Data in the UCI World Tour road cycling circuit has been rebranded as NTT Pro Cycling for the 2020 World Tour. With the addition of nine new riders in November 2019, including one from Japan, the world-class team now has 26 riders from 13 different countries. This marks a significant upgrade that is sure to deliver exciting results in the near future.
The stylized hand logo featured on the new uniform of the rebranded NTT Pro Cycling team was designed in collaboration with South African charity Qhubeka. Working together with Qhubeka, the NTT Pro Cycling team has donated some 100,000 bicycles that enable children to ride to school and encourage cycling for active and healthy lifestyles.
The NTT Pro Cycling team is proud to be partnering with Qhubeka on a range of exciting initiatives in the future.
At the media launch of the new NTT Pro Cycling team, the riders were introduced to the audience and short presentations were heard from Team Principal Douglas Ryder, NTT Limited Senior Vice President Peter Gray, and Chief Technology Officer Ettienne Reinecke, who heads the technical team.
Gray delivered a passionate statement on the exciting challenges ahead for NTT Limited and the NTT Pro Cycling team. “This is about more than just sport; we are working in a fully-fledged technical partnership. NTT supplies innovative ICT solutions that can be transformative for sport as well as for industry. We also see exciting applications for health care that will be equally transformative for society in the years to come.”
Reinecke described a number of new innovative measures designed to provide an enhanced viewing experience for fans.
“IoT and connectivity allow us to capture video from the race in real time, and this really upends traditional relationships between viewers and riders as well as between viewers and broadcast media.”
Since 2015, NTT has been the official technology partner of Tour de France, the biggest cycling road race on the planet. NTT provides an innovative viewing experience through an advanced technology analysis platform capable of tracking riders in real time during the event. The platform analyzes vital data obtained from training rides to create an optimized condition profile for every rider, then employs cutting-edge data analysis to create an optimized matrix of individual riders and their best race categories.
NTT also provides connectivity solutions that link riders from all over the world. By providing the right data at the right time, NTT plays an important role in giving the team the best possible chance of success.
NTT uses cutting-edge ICT and AI technology to analyze and update rider data during both training sessions and actual races at close to real time. This vital service helps to boost overall team performance by providing digital evidence for rider conditioning programs and strategy development, which had traditionally been based on intuition and experience.
Having all the data coordinated in a single standardized format gives medical staff, coaches, trainers and the riders themselves a much more accurate and reliable snapshot of their current performance.
Reinecke also spoke about how the partnership with NTT had provided the team with access to a range of innovative solutions.
A prime example is hitoe®, a non-metallic biosignal detection material developed by NTT and Toray. It can detect a range of vital data with a high degree of sensitivity when affixed to the skin. NTT is also working on an AI platform that promises many exciting benefits.
Reinecke noted that biodata from hitoe® has already generated remarkably accurate predictions of race performance.
“We have just signed a deal with Major League Baseball to supply an ultra-immersive media synchronization system called Ultra Reality Viewing. The Kirari! package, meanwhile, uses networking to remote regions for real-time broadcasting of sport and live events. With Ultra Reality Viewing and Kirari!, we will be able to provide viewers with a much more exciting and immersive viewing experience of road cycling.”
While UCI cycling enjoys healthy participation numbers worldwide, the sport is still relatively unknown in Japan. But Gray, Reinecke and the technical team have plans to provide a more engaging viewing experience that they hope will have a broader appeal to the general public.
Part of the appeal of road racing is in pulling back from the race itself to take in the picturesque scenery at different locations along the route. Viewers will also be able to monitor rider data such as speed and power in real time. In this way, NTT is using advanced technology and innovative ideas to revolutionize sports coverage and the way we watch sporting events.
NTT Pro Cycling team principal Douglas Ryder also spoke at the launch.
“Getting a major global sponsor like NTT on board allows us to reach a much wider audience. Their experience and expertise, not to mention their advanced technology, will make our team so much stronger. It will also make it easier for us to identify talent in the future. Meanwhile, having a Japanese rider in the team will no doubt help to boost the profile of UCI in Japan.”
Ryder spoke about the ongoing partnership with South African charity Qhubeka, including a training program to prepare upcoming riders for road cycling competitions at the highest level. “NTT is committed to helping people fulfil their dreams and ambitions. We see this as a key component of our wider corporate mission, and we look forward to working even closer with Qhubeka to this end.”
At last, the year 2020 is nearly upon us.
NTT is using the power of innovation to provide sports fans around the world with more immersive and engaging viewing experiences. Through a wide range of initiatives and programs, we are dedicated to bringing joy to people and making the world a better place for us all.