Photos: Tracking the servers at Wimbledon

Photos: Tracking the servers at Wimbledon

Summary: Grab yourself a Pimms and join us on a tour of IBM's facilities at Wimbledon, where the company aims to keep the scores and more

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

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  • The basic data-input device is as simple as they come, and is attached to a laptop computer. The data is entered with each swing of the racquet and then passed to the central systems.

    Most of the communications are carried over cables with some wireless backup. It seems astonishing in these "wireless-everywhere" days but, as IBM points out, there are good reasons for this.

    Firstly, Wimbledon is a very compact site with around 30 courts sitting one next to the other. This means there are a lot of people in a small area, and a lot of mobile devices.

    Add to that the fact that Wimbledon is built on quite a steep hill, as anyone who has seen "Henman Hill" on television can confirm, and you could have a mobile communications nightmare.

  • TV is ever-present at sporting events, and these days you can also watch it online. This means the IBM team needs two screens: one showing the TV picture and other showing the Web version.

    Video-streaming technology has developed very quickly over the past few years. If you stand in the control centre you can easily tell the difference between the two images, but they are much closer in quality than they were just 12 months ago.

  • TV on a mobile is the future, and IBM was showing its advanced telephony TV option at Wimbledon this year.

    While many will not want to watch their tennis on a tiny screen, there is no doubting the quality of this technology. The dedicated tennis fan can now stay in touch, wherever he or she is.

Topic: Emerging Tech


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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