Intel and Alibaba have announced plans to develop the first artificial intelligence-powered athlete tracking technology which could make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The two conglomerates, both of whom are part of the top-tier The Olympic Partner sponsorship scheme, have come together as part of a joint initiative.
It is claimed the technology will provide real-time biomechanical analysis by 3D-mapping athletes in five athletics disciplines.
Regular video cameras would be used to create a "3D Mesh", which could then be used by coaches and athletes to aid with their training programmes.
According to Chinese-based Alibaba, which recently helped the International Olympic Committee launch its first online Olympic store, coaches and trainers "will be able to help athletes modify and enhance their training to ultimately improve their performance".
Alibaba also claim it will enhance the experience for viewers of the Olympic Games as it will give them "insights into how world-class athletes perform".
Alibaba's cloud computing capability and Intel's hardware would be used to develop the technology, which could feature at future Olympic Games beyond Tokyo 2020 should its implementation be successful.
Intel & @AlibabaGroup are developing the first-ever #AI-powered 3D athlete tracking system aiming for #Tokyo2020 to provide athletes with new training data & analysis and provide fans insight into how athletes perform against one another. #CES2019 pic.twitter.com/S8m3Fdd7Rc— Intel @ #CES2019 (@intel) January 8, 2019
"As you can imagine, someone can actually use real models of what just happened to discuss why someone can do something and this person can't," Naveen Rao, Intel's vice president and general manager of Intel's AI Products Group, told SportTechie.
"That's a very high level of engagement.
"A great example I always use is 'why is Usain Bolt so fast?'
"That's a question you see on the internet a billion times.
"Why is he so fast?
"Why can he do something that others could never do for the history of the Olympics in a sport, frankly, every child does: running?
"That question we can now start answering with more and more data and actually use analytics techniques combined with expertise to explain it."