Tata Communications is hoping that a Formula 1 racing fan and Singapore-based game designer will pave the way for an immersive augmented reality experience that could be deployed in the future.
The enterprise services firm awarded Datu YogaBrata $50,000 for winning Tata's 2016 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize. The effort is designed to attract developers to potentially enhance the Formula 1 racing experience.
Mercedes AMG Petronas' Formula One Team counts Tata Communications as its managed connectivity provider. The innovation challenge highlights how companies are increasingly holding contests to garner ideas and potentially future talent.
YogaBrata's idea was to use a 360-degree trackside experience that is enabled by a group of commentators who roam wearing wearable cameras. Tata and Formula 1 will name YogaBrata the winner and hand him a trophy at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Mehul Kapadia, director of the Mercedes F1 partnership, said Tata uses sporting events to gain more visibility outside of India. Kapadia said Tata has used hackathons internally and externally to boost innovation. "Crowdsourcing initiatives allow you to put something out there and let people gravitate for it," he said. "These are actual ideas that can be implemented in some sense."
Tata has been focused on using augmented and virtual reality to bolster customer experiences and boost productivity. Kapadia said the technologies are still nascent, but Tata has been exploring AR for Apple's iOS platform and Samsung Gear/Oculus. "There are a lot of experiences to explore," said Kapadia.