GiveVision, a UK-based company, developed special headsets that would enable sports fans with visual impairment to watch the games. The product is powered by Vodafone 5G. It streams live footage from local TV cameras. Then, it adjusts itself to suit the user’s exact sight profile.
Vodafone’s highspeed 5G network removes the lag while broadcasting feed to the headsets. This enhances the speed and reliability of the device in a live sport setting. Thus, making it accessible to a greater number of people in more places. Currently, Wimbledon is being the host for people with low vision trialing the headsets. They can catch the live action from the stands.
Sinead Grealy, a huge tennis fan, is taking part in the trial on Centre Court and Court One. She said ecstatically, “I can’t tell you how fantastic it is. I would need a thesaurus and know how to work it for all the superlatives.”
She further added, “The technology is incredible. It takes my eyesight to better than it was. The first time I put it on I just went, ‘woah’. And then I went ‘woah’ again with the first adjustment because it’s so simple. I’m a technophobe and it’s so easy to use.”
Adding to the excitement, Grealy stated, “I need it in my life, I will be buying it whenever it comes on the market. You don’t know how many people it’s going to help.”
She concluded by saying, “I’ve got a very good chance of going 100 percent blind. I don’t have to fear that, and that genuinely, in the quiet hours when I couldn’t sleep, kept me up at night, that I would never be able to go and enjoy live sport ever again. The scope this has is just beyond where I was even hoping it could go.”
Ivan Rodriguez Deb said, “As a visually impaired tennis player and a huge tennis fan, I can’t put into words how I feel at the moment. Being able to track the ball, see the spin and focus on all the finer details is a real game-changer – it’s amazing.”
Watch this YouTube video:
Head of operations of GiveVision says
Joanna Liddington, head of operations, explains, “It brings the image much closer to the user’s face, stimulates the photoreceptor cells in the retina and allows them to regain some of the sight they’ve lost, essentially.”
She added further, “They can zoom in and out, change the brightness, have a look around and take in the atmosphere. They can manipulate it to fit their needs.”
To enable visually impaired individuals to experience and enjoy sports without restricting themselves to specific places is one of the best features of this technology. Liddington said, “With the headset, people can sit anywhere they want, be with their friends and family.”
CEO of GiveVision says
Elodie Draperi, CEO of GiveVision, stated, “At GiveVision, our mission is to redefine accessibility standards for visually impaired spectators at all UK sports and entertainment venues. By working with Vodafone and using their 5G network, we’re improving stadium accessibility without any infrastructure changes, giving visually impaired tennis fans an immersive experience at the prestigious Wimbledon Championships.”
GiveVision is also working with Premier League club Crystal Palace. Their vision and mission include rolling out the technology across several venues.