In what is believed to be the first technology deployment of its kind on the South African golfing circuit, Dimension Data and Microsoft South Africa have developed a unique experience using Windows 8 technology designed specifically for use at the 2013 Dimension Data Pro-Am.
Dimension Data Group companies 3fifteen and Internet Solutions have collaborated with Microsoft SA to develop a Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 application that offers spectators the ability to track, in real-time, their favourite players and scores during the Pro-Am.
“As a global ICT company that owns and manages the Dimension Data Pro-Am, we wanted to develop an application that showcases the power of technology and brings value to people’s lives beyond the business arena.
“We’re pleased that spectators and fans – both on the course and watching the tournament from the comfort of their homes – will be able to participate and track the players on all three courses at this year’s Dimension Data Pro-Am,” says Jeremy Ord, Dimension Data executive chairman.
The Dimension Data Pro-Am, now in its 17th year, is a unique four-day entry on the Sunshine Tour calendar and is, for the first time, also part of the European Tour.
The tournament will be held on the prestigious Montagu, Outeniqua and The Links golf courses at the Fancourt Golf Estate in George. This year’s tournament tees off on 21 February and will bring together Dimension Data’s top business partners, the finest South African golfing talent, and European Tour professional golfers.
Using the powerful features and user interface of Windows 8, the application takes following the tournament and its players to a new level. Scope Technologies will provide self-powered GeoPin tracking devices, with an accuracy of up to 2.5 metres, for tracking players during the tournament.
“The Windows 8 user interface blends a tablet full-screen experience, while contextual menus and charms ensure the same experience on other Windows mobile devices. The addition of a horizontal scrolling mnemonic expands the amount of gestures, with menu-driven design that streamlines the entire interface,” says 3fifteen MD, James Baber.
Mteto Nyati, Microsoft SA MD, says the development of the application sets a benchmark for how companies should work together to develop future applications.
“Collaboration across different companies proves how technology can be enabled to create new experiences for end users as they interact with one of South Africa’s most prestigious sporting events,” he says.
The Pro-Am Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 application, available for download from the Windows Store and Windows Marketplace respectively, provides users with a live tournament score feed by tracking both amateur and professional players during the tournament.
This is thanks to a collaborative effort with the Sunshine Tour scorers who are equipped with the necessary technology to capture data on all three golf courses simultaneously.
Current scores and relevant data is then fed through to an Azure database, which uploads live feeds to the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 application, on-site video walls, the tournament mobi site, and the Sunshine Tour Web site.
Features of the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 application include:
* Player tracking during the tournament, incorporating player positioning mapped to the golf course layout using Bing Maps;
* Live score updates;
* Live video footage via strategically placed IP video cameras;
Live social media feeds;
Player profiles for both professionals and amateurs;
* Player leader boards;
* Course layout and historical information; and
* Behind-the-scenes look at the technology implemented and how it works.