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Wimbledon to trial 5G headsets for visually impaired tennis fans

Wimbledon. Copyright Alberto Pezzali/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Alberto Pezzali/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews
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The technology could help people watch the match from anywhere in the crowd and enjoy the spectacle alongside their friends and family.


Wimbledon is trialing new Vodafone 5G powered GiveVision headsets on Centre Court and No.1 Court at the championships that let visually impaired fans watch live tennis.

This is the first time 5G technology has been used in the sport.

The headsets stream live footage from local TV cameras over 5G and enhance the footage to suit the person’s specific sight profile. By bringing the images closer to the eye and stimulating the photoreceptor cells in the retina, a degree of sight can be regained.

By using 5G, fans can be fully immersed in the action, as they can watch the match live from anywhere in the stands.

Previously, sports fans using the headsets could watch the live broadcast feed but they would need to stay within 10-20m of a transmitter box in a pre-determined ‘accessibility’ area, with each box only able to support a limited number of headsets.

The 5G covers an entire court or stadium in unlimited numbers, so visually impaired fans can enjoy the action from anywhere in the crowd alongside their friends and family.

As well as accessing the live feeds, people testing the headsets can switch between modes and use the camera phone in the headset to focus on whatever action they like.

Using Vodafone’s superfast 5G network to power the headsets removes the lag between the broadcast feed and the headsets as well as helping to increase the speed and reliability of the GiveVision headsets in a live sport environment, making them accessible to more people and in more locations.

As each individual’s sight loss varies, the headsets can be adjusted to fit the specific requirements of each person, allowing the wearer to tailor the experience to their personal needs and independently follow the on-court action. 

This includes features like amending the zoom, brightness and contrast of the footage.

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