Formula 1 Stays at the Cutting Edge with Crowdsourcing

Published Dec-30-14

A major new open innovation initiative by Formula One receives ground-breaking solutions for live race feeds and archiving race material.

Formula 1, United Kingdom

The Story:

Formula 1 Stays at the Cutting Edge with Crowdsourcing Formula 1 is one of the most technologically advanced sports on the planet, and to stay that way it must always be at the cutting edge. To catalyse the development of the next generation of communication technologies, Formula 1 enlisted the public’s help with three real-world challenges.

F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize

In 2014, the inaugural F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize was launched, a three-part crowdsourcing platform for creative ideas. Participants needed to impress a panel of judges that included current Formula 1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton. Submissions were assessed on a range of criteria including innovation, creativity and feasibility of implementing the proposed solution. Two winners of each of the three categories were selected as was a Grand Prize winner.

The overall winning team came up with a user-friendly way of searching a vast archive of the sport’s footage. The idea is that fans will be encouraged to look through the archive each week for their favourite moments from a race. The footage will have already been tagged with baseline metadata, and then using simple digital editing software, users can edit and clip their moment.

“In our proposal, the Formula 1 archive gets indexed as a by-product of activities that Formula 1 fans want to do anyway; discussing the greatest moments in the sport’s history,” said Chris Belmore one of the members of the winning team. “It records history in ways that fans truly understand.”

Team leader Jody Allen added: “…everyone has their own treasured memory of key moments in the sport’s history. Some are instantly recognised seminal events, others are highly individual and personal. By connecting these moments allowed us to build something that was more than just a rigid and structured database…”

For their creative efforts, the team picked up a check for $50,000 and two of the members will attend the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix.

Live Data Challenge

Among the winners of the other challenges were new ways to present live data from races on the official Formula 1 app, the Formula 1 website and to teams and the media.

Formula 1 Management was after a system that could produce the calculations and display them in an engaging and innovative way, while also being capable of updating the information during races.

There were two winners of this challenge:

Chris Thelwell from the UK came up with a system to make real-time data accessible to all, using a new open source data humanisation service. It takes the live feed and compares it to historical data to create a story angle from the findings. To do this, the software can identify significant events and create text based stories from a set of templates. The technology also feeds into mobile devices and wearable technologies.

A UK-based team headed by Ben Lambert proposed a way of segmenting the data feed consumption by user groups, such as ‘The Team’, ‘The Enthusiasts’ and ‘The Fans’. Each group would receive a different data feed based on their own interests.

The open innovation competition was launched by Formula 1 Management, the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team and Tata Communications, the company that provides connectivity to Formula 1 race circuits.

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