Tata Communications, Official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1® and the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, is launching the 2016 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize, and unveiling the first challenge of the competition. The aim of the USD $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. This year’s challenges will focus 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 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.
John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer of Formula One Management and one of the judges, says, “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. 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.”
“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,” says Julie Woods-Moss, Tata Communications’ CMO and CEO of its NextGen Business. “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.”
In addition to John Morrison, the jury includes Lewis Hamilton, driver of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team; Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team; David Coulthard, former Formula 1® race driver and Channel 4’s F1® racing Lead Expert Analyst and commentator; Martin Brundle, former Formula 1® race driver and F1® commentator for Sky Sports F1® and Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1® Business at Tata Communications.
The jury will pick three winners from each challenge of the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize. The six winners will be awarded trips to the 2016 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX in October, where the jury will announce the Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize is a cheque for $50,000 and a bespoke trophy. A full brief for the first F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize challenge can be downloaded from the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize website. The closing date for the first challenge is 16th June. The second challenge will be set by the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team in July.
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.