Tata Communications launched the 2016 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, focusing on how virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technologies could be used to make the sport more immersive for fans, and help the teams work more effectively together in the run-up to and during each Grand Prix.
The aim of the $50,000 prize is to inspire fans worldwide to harness their technical know-how and passion for F1 racing to drive innovation in the sport through two technology challenges.
Tata Communications is the Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1, enabling the sport to seamlessly reach its tens of millions of fans across the globe.
The first challenge, set by Formula One Management, calls on technology enthusiasts to develop a solution that uses VR and AR to enable fans at home to experience a Grand Prix virtually.
The solution should allow fans who are not at the live event to immerse themselves into the exhilarating world of F1 racing – from the pit lane and the Formula One Paddock Club, to the drivers’ parade and the starting grid formation.
“We want to give as many fans as possible the opportunity to experience first-hand the thrill of a Grand Prix – and VR or AR could enable us to do just that,” said John Morrison, CTO of Formula One Management and one of the judges.
“These technologies represent the next big innovation opportunity for the sport. In the not-too-distant future, they could enable fans to get virtually transported to a Grand Prix, complementing and enriching the race experience,” said Morrison.
Julie Woods-Moss, Tata Communications’ CMO and CEO of its NextGen Business, said that in the last two years, the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize has grown into a major platform for showcasing the huge potential of data and superfast connectivity in boosting F1 teams’ competitiveness, and in bringing fans closer to the sport
“We now invite fans from all over the world to share their ideas for how VR and AR could take fan engagement to the next level,” she said.