Last updated: 24 June 2016
Get your strawberries and cream ready; Wimbledon 2016 isn’t too far away. Reigning champions, the seemingly unstoppable Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, will be hoping to retain their titles, while home fans will be backing Andy Murray and Laura Robson. What’s certain is that millions across the world will be tuning in to enjoy this festival of tennis.
Part of what makes Wimbledon so special is tradition; all-white shirts and shorts, celeb-spotting in the Royal Box and the gathering of spectators not fortunate enough to win Centre Court tickets on “Henman Hill” (or “Murray Mound”). However, Wimbledon has also embraced technological innovation, with Hawk-Eye and retractable roofs being installed in recent years. Over the next decade, we’re expecting the IoT to improve the tournament in all sorts of ways. So, what might Wimbledon 2025 look like?
The quality of tennis is already extremely high, with players like Djokovic, Federer, Williams and Radwanska on show, but in 2025 we think it will reach new heights thanks to the IoT. One reason is the connected racket, which has already been developed by Babolat and is beginning to see mainstream adoption.
Imagine a world where tennis players could immediately identify the weaker areas of their game. It’s a dream fulfilled by the connected racket. These rackets are fitted with embedded sensors, capable of collecting precise data on the player’s performance. By downloading a smartphone app, the player can then analyse the data as soon as possible. Already, the technology is having an impact – the International Tennis Federation has approved the technology and, during last year’s Roland Garros, data from connected rackets was made available to fans on the Internet, enabling them to better understand how their idols play the game.
Advanced tennis wearables
At Wimbledon 2025, not only might players be equipped with connected rackets – they could also be using wearables, equipped with interactive displays and voice recognition. These will combine with the connected racket to provide insight into player performance, accessible in real-time. What this could mean is the regular player breaks could evolve from just a breather into crucial periods for analyzing performance and adjusting tactics.
New monetization opportunities
The IoT is also great news for tennis event organizers – and by 2025 could be generating extra revenue for Wimbledon. As Lewis Sherr, Chief Revenue Officer at the US Tennis Association, highlighted in an interview with CIO, the IoT brings new opportunities for sharing big data with sponsors and demonstrating their visibility and impact in real-time. To understand more about IoT monetization, see our page here.
Anyone who’s been to Wimbledon will tell you it’s a fantastic experience, but will probably warn you that there’s a lot of queuing. Fortunately, by 2025, you could be able to gain entry to the grounds with your smartphone. By downloading a special Wimbledon app, where your ticket details would be stored, you’d be able to gain entry by tapping your digital ticket against the NFC card reader. Getting into Wimbledon might be as quick as an Andy Roddick serve!
A new fan experience
Being a tennis fan in 2025 could be a more interactive experience. By downloading a specialist smartphone app, you’d be able to receive all the Wimbledon news during the tournament. During the match, you’d view players’ performance data in real-time. Plus, viewers at home would be able to enjoy the spectacle from a court-side seat, thanks to Virtual Reality (VR). By just putting their smart goggles on, they might be transported to Centre Court to enjoy the action.
As you can see, Wimbledon 2025 is set to be a connected tournament. The IoT could change the competition in all sorts of ways, enhancing the experience for players and fans. So to anyone saying ‘you cannot be serious!’ about the potential of IoT – we certainly are!
What are your expectations for sport in 2025? Let us know by tweeting to @Gemalto, or by posting a comment below.