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Top Kiwi tech creates 1000km tennis game

04 Dec 2013

ASB Bank is attempting a World Record by creating a 1000km tennis court that stretches from the North Island to the South Island.

The tennis court will be brought to life on 10 December in Auckland at the ASB Tennis Centre on Stanley Street and in Christchurch at Wilding Park to form the ultimate North versus South Island competition.

“Driven by our love of tennis, the upcoming ASB Classic, this ground-breaking game will operate over two half courts, one in each city," says Anna Curzon, Marketing GM, ASB.

"The half courts are joined by a large screen to form the longest tennis court in the world.

“In a world first, you see your opponent in the opposite island up on a big screen.

"As they play a shot, technology is used to calculate the exact trajectory and it’s then fired via ball machines in the opponent’s court allowing a 1000km rally to take place.”

ASB has partnered with Rush Digital Interactive to utilise similar technology to that used at the London Olympics to process and analyse the 1000km game of tennis.

“We are processing and analysing 15 Gigabits per second of HD video - 240 frames per second at Full HD resolution across 8 wide-angle cameras,” says Danushka Abeysuriya, CEO, Rush Digital Interactive.

“This is enough data to saturate 150 Ultra-Fast Broadband in-home connections, or in other terms, if you were to run this system for one hour, it would process more raw data than 1,430 DVDs could hold.

“The tennis ball machines on both halves of the tennis court have been customised to work over the internet.

"They can be ‘talked’ to and can also ‘talk’ to each other over a standard internet connection, from anywhere in the world - this may be a world first.

"Furthermore, we were able make this happen using 'off the shelf' components put together in a smart way, theoretically these modifications could be made to any appliance. This is the world we live in today!”

Abeysuriya says the team has applied the same fundamentals and expertise used in creating video games, which have similar requirements for speed, performance and the understanding of three-dimensional space.

The 1000km Tennis Court will of course have ball boys and girls who have been in training for 2014’s ASB Classic and even a surprise umpire or two.

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