Feeds

IBM smashes Flash out of Wimbledon, serves up HTML5 app

Adobe's double fault: too snazzy and doesn't work on Apple kit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Next month’s Wimbledon tennis championship in London will serve up more player data than ever before and, for the first time, deliver live video to game fans over the web.

SPSS software from IBM will be deployed at all 19 courts and to capture information, draw up competitors’ stats and evaluate their performance.

The kit is increasingly used in other sports to analyse players and predict injuries; the Leicester Tigers rugby club uses Big Blue's analytics for risk assessment, for example. It has also been used to study play on Wimbledon’s outer courts, but 2012 will be the first tournament with SPSS covering every court, including centre court and court number one.

IBM’s software will crunch minutiae game data - such as how fast a player runs, the distance covered and speed of turn - that’s fed in manually and electronically to build up a stats-based picture on aspects of the game, such as returns and consistency of servers.

SPSS runs as part of the Wimbledon Information System (WIS) installed at the venue in southwest London and that uses DB2 on System x and Linux.

The output will be chewed over by pundits, pros and the public from online scoreboards that have been redesigned from Flash to HTML5 to help Wimbledon capitalised on growth in mobile traffic, specifically iPhones and Android. The expansion in the SPSS will mean more data served up to the web using HTML5 by the Wimbledon tournament than ever before.

The Wimbledon website got 450 million hits during the tournament’s two weeks last year, and 7.6 per cent of that traffic came from mobile. Between 10 and 20 per cent of that came from an iPhone app that IBM had launched in 2010 – the Android build arrived last year. IBM, meanwhile, is relying on HTML5 for the iPad instead of building a dedicated app at this stage.

Flash is far too, er, flash

“Traditionally our on-demand scoreboards have been built in Flash, and Flash let us be very visual in the way the information could be presented,” IBM's Wimbledon client and programme executive Alan Flack told The Reg. “But tablets don’t support Flash and we are seeing an increasing number of these.”

Andy Burns, IBM lead consultant, added that the tennis-watching mobile public wants more data and less graphics – the latter being something Flash basks in.

“We may have sacrificed some of the visual eye candy, but our site is not about that – it’s about providing the rich and accurate stats. Our fans want to see stats rather than fancy transitions. We don’t need the power of Flash. We are quite OK using the power of HTML5,” Burns said.

Scoring might be stripped down but video is on the rise and this year’s tournament will see live match play broadcast online for the first time from Wimbledon.com – a move OK’d by the Lawn Tennis Association.

Video will be encoded using H.264 and played using the Daily Motion player. There won’t be geographic restrictions on the live feeds, meaning it can be viewed anywhere.

Flack added: “Hits to the web site grow every year – whether that’s through mobile or traditional laptops or computers. Mobile is driving a lot of additional traffic. It’s probably bringing sport to a wider audience.” ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.