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Community Blog Beijing 2022: The Olympic Winter Games on the Cloud

Beijing 2022: The Olympic Winter Games on the Cloud

Let's look at how digital smart technologies from Alibaba Cloud served as the backbone for accelerating the digital transformation of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

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Ever since Alibaba Cloud became the official cloud services partner of the Olympics in 2017, it has provided a massive facelift to the games. From digitizing ticket management to orchestrating a new-age connected digital ecosystem underpinned by Cloud and AI, Alibaba Cloud has helped the IOC to provide organizers, fans, athletes, and broadcasters with an inclusive, immersive, and unparalleled experience.

Let's look at how digital smart technologies from Alibaba Cloud served as the backbone for accelerating the digital transformation of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Digital Operations: Core Systems on Alibaba Cloud

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, the IOC has migrated its core systems to the cloud, leveraging Alibaba Cloud's suite of cloud-based and artificial-intelligence-powered solutions tailored to the sports industry.

"Together with Alibaba, we are making history here in Beijing. For the first time ever, all core systems needed to run these Olympic Winter Games are hosted on Alibaba Cloud. Whether it is powering the Olympic online store in China, the OBS Cloud or technology to support the world's media here in Beijing, Alibaba Cloud technology is setting new standards and raising the bar to new levels."
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Creating a safer, efficient, and sustainable experience for both athletes and audience was one of the IOC's major priorities. Alibaba Cloud not only offered the foundation to a digitally connected ecosystem and remodeled the digital core, but also helped the IOC bring operational efficiency and reduce the costs of infrastructure by moving their critical operational systems to the cloud. With Alibaba Cloud's advanced cloud-based capability, cloud infrastructure, and real-time intelligence, the IOC was able to improve the end-user experience and plan, manage, as well as streamline the Winter Games more efficiently.

Digital Broadcasting: OBS Cloud

The Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) collaborated with Alibaba Cloud to increase broadcasting efficiency during the Winter Games. By leveraging Alibaba Cloud's cutting-edge solutions, Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) can efficiently receive and broadcast real-time sports footage through public cloud infrastructure, delivering an innovative and inclusive viewing experience for global sports fans. Content transmission via cloud was an efficient content distribution model that led to a significant increase of productivity for broadcasters, ensuring the quality of broadcasting even during the high demand for live streaming of the most popular events. With the highly scalable, resilient, and secure global cloud infrastructure of Alibaba Cloud, around 20+ broadcasting organizations delivered live multilateral content in UHD or HD via OBS Cloud, with a fraction of the cost and setup time.

"Transmitting live content through the cloud is a particularly useful resource for broadcasters who cannot attend the Olympic Winter Games in person or afford the heavy upfront investment of on-premises infrastructure."
Selina Yuan, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International Business Unit

Digital Competition: Multi-Camera Replay System

For the first time, the broadcasting services for the Olympic Winter Games relied on cloud-based workflows to deliver an immersive experience via replay systems. Alibaba and OBS deployed multi-camera replay systems for frame-freeze slow-motion replays to capture and compile live multi-angle footage of various games. Moreover, Alibaba Cloud's edge cloud solution enabled real-time processing and editing of chosen moments to reconstruct the most exciting moments of the Winter Games seamlessly. The game footage can broadcast a high-quality 3D representation of the sports scenes in 4K quality to deliver a dynamic, authentic, and engaging viewing experience.

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Digital Experience: Cloud ME

Alibaba Cloud utilized its extensive global network coverage and innovative technology, Cloud ME, powered by Real-time Communication (RTC) solution, to engage audiences at the Winter Games, despite the COVID-19 restrictions and geographical distances. With its low latency, high availability, and high concurrency capabilities, Cloud ME facilitated social interactions among people during the Olympic Winter Games, enabling them to explore meeting experiences and enjoy real-time conversations via true-to-life projection. The Cloud ME booth along with its remote projection functionality and true-to-life hologram effect allowed participants to reconstruct all the details in high definition, including micro facial expressions and clothing texture, and projected the live recording onto a remote 4K HD screen for the global audience. Setting up Cloud ME booths is simple and hassle-free, with no additional IT infrastructure or optimized internet bandwidth.

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Digital Experience: Virtual Influencer

Alibaba's DAMO Academy created a Virtual Influencer, Dong Dong, for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. An AI-powered advanced digital persona, Dong Dong, gave a digital uplift to the games by enabling real-time conversations and engagement with the Olympic fans during live streaming. Dong Dong's dynamic personality, authentic human-like features, and capability to interact with the audience in an engaging way were built on a special cloud-based AI model and multimodal algorithms. The model leveraged 3D-driven technology, text to speech, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and emotional speech synthesis to start engaging interactions. Moreover, it can synthesize human voices and generate human-like dialogues naturally to interact with consumers in a human-like way.

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Alibaba Cloud: Driving the Experience Economy for Sports Organizations

"The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will not just be remembered by the excitement and the phenomenal achievements brought by the athletes from across the world, but also for the new benchmarks it had set for driving a more efficient, sustainable and inclusive Olympic Games."
Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence

Alibaba Cloud has played a quintessential role in driving the technology-led sports revolution. In the wake of pandemic and global restrictions, it became all the more critical for the IOC to accelerate their digital transformation efforts, and Alibaba Cloud has supported them through the lifecycle of the Olympic Winter Games.

From tech-enablement leveraging metaverse to building a next-generation experience economy for the IOC, Alibaba Cloud has been at the forefront of sports innovation. Agile Sports organizations poised for rapid digital acceleration can onboard Alibaba Cloud today! Learn more about Alibaba Cloud-IOC cooperation - https://www.alibabacloud.com/olympics/home

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