| Spectator Solutions |

Making the thrill and excitement of Golf even greater

Panasonic
Spectator Solutions

Panasonic has presented a new way to enjoy sports. This new style of spectating goes beyond simply watching—letting you truly experience your favorite sports in a way that makes them more exciting. At the 2017 Panasonic OPEN, ICT (Information Computer Technology) was used to craft various entertainment solutions to bring about an even more impressive and exciting golf experience.

Convenience

Use the touch panel to choose any hole
For up-to-the-moment real time information
Multi-Video Distribution System

Passing through the gate on the morning of the final sunny day of the competition, I first checked the conditions at one of the holes I wanted to see. Until now, you figured out the position of players by looking at a pairing sheet distributed at the gate, but at the 2017 Panasonic OPEN a convenient, new system was adopted that utilized a Multi-Video Distribution System. This touch panel system displayed live video of multiple holes over a course map. To try it out, I touched the 1st hole. This brought up enlarged displays from each direction, such as from the teeing ground or the green, over the map of the holes. When I chose the green, that camera’s video was displayed full screen. This allowed me to keep up with all the moment to moment changes in this heated tournament. I was able to see where I wanted to go at a glance and keep track of player scores and positions in real time—spectating had never been so effortless. Back at the first hole, a famous player that you see on TV was approaching the first hole. All the exciting moments of the game were coming to life on the screen.

Satisfaction

Never miss another exciting moment
because every location is in the palm of your hand
On-Site Event Streaming App

I arrived at the 1st hole just as the player I had been watching on the live video was about to take the tee shot, a full swing that stayed nicely in the fairway. Seeing such a great shot right before my eyes only added to the excitement. I wanted to see the next group, too, so I took a seat in the gallery stand. Just then, I heard some excited shouts coming from the direction of the green. I wanted to know what happened, so I decided to try out the new On-Site Event Streaming App on my smartphone. I opened the app just after the putt, so I rewound the feed and watched the final, exciting moments. Using this On-Site Event Streaming App, I could watch live video from the cameras installed at any of the 4 locations on the hole. Whether it was the tee shot, the second shot, or even the area around the green, I was able to enjoy the entire hole from start to finish without leaving my seat. The On-Site Event Streaming App also let me watch replays and even featured a zoom function that let me take a detailed look at the prowess of the pros.

*Check out the VOGO Sport app for details on this service.

Connection

Get inside the head of the player and see what they were feeling during that one shot
Non-contact Vital Sensing

I left the first hole at lunchtime and headed to the Gallery Plaza, which was lined with food tents. In the center of it all was a live broadcast of the tournament on a massive LED screen. I relaxed on a soft, inflatable sofa where I could easily see the game. There were tons of statistics and graphs about the current players being fed across the screen in real-time, down to never-before-broadcast information like the current heartrate of the player. A feature called Non-contact Vital Sensing used video imaging of the player’s face to detect changes in skin color, which were then used to estimate heart rate. This information allows you to understand the emotions of the player as you watch the video of the play. From the moment before the tee shot when their heart rate suddenly rose, or when it steadily climbed after the shot as the player followed the path of the ball, I was able to see how pros that always look calm and collected can actually become nervous or shaken. I could get closer than ever to the peaks of emotion that change from stroke to stroke and take an inside look at my favorite players.

Excitement

RAMSA Professional Audio System
Brings the best level of entertainment to the gallery
As players play their finest shots

I headed over to The Gallery Hole, a special hole on the 16th hole. At this Par 3 (short) hole, gallery stands were set up featuring golf commentator Takeaki Koyama and freelance announcer Hiroshi Yakushiji who were adding to the lively atmosphere as “Green DJs” in an experiment intended to set this year apart from all the golf tournaments of the past. With a beer in hand, I cheered on my favorite players to keep them in high spirits and they returned the positive energy in kind. Great care was taken to make sure that the lively scene did not interrupt the players’ concentration on the game. By utilizing the directivity control of the speakers from Panasonic’s RAMSA Auditorium series, the acoustic field was kept uniform at the gallery stands but could not be heard on the green. The 16th hole was carefully calculated so that no matter how lively things became in the gallery, the players could still concentrate on their game.

Safety

Keeping everyone safe so they can enjoy the tournament
Using an interactive surveillance system
Portable Security System

The grounds were flooded by more and more spectators as the climax of the tournament drew closer. The security personnel were equipped with wearable cameras and were watching out for the safety of those in the gallery. These wearable cameras were installed at eye level to capture the same point of view as the security personnel, and that video was streamed to the security headquarters. At headquarters, the transmitted images and GPS location information of the security personnel were checked to ascertain the safety level on location. The security personnel could also check the cameras of other personnel by using their arm monitor, which enables sharing of both video and audio in the unlikely event that it became necessary. Every corner of the vast event space was carefully watched to enable everyone to enjoy the event with the highest level of safety.

Now veteran players yet peers during their certification days, Kenichi Kuboya and Katsumasa Miyamoto fought it out in the climactic finale that was the first playoff of the tournament. At the moment Kuboya’s victory was decided, Miyamoto rushed over to him to offer a handshake. Pulling the ball from the cup and seeing Miyamoto, it was then that Kuboya realized he had won, and a look of surprise and relief washed over his face.

Photo: Kenichi Kuboya and Katsumasa Miyamoto
Photo: Kenichi Kuboya and Katsumasa Miyamoto

The excited spirit from the heated battle remained in the air, with many spectators lingering in the gallery even after the awards ceremony had concluded. A farewell party open to players, caddies, volunteer staff and spectators was held as the sun began to set over the Gallery Plaza. The party was for everyone connected by their love of golf and surrounded by catered food and drinks and even had a raffle for signed goods. It was a great way to pass the final hours of the tournament with a smile, and you could truly see that the Panasonic OPEN had succeeded in its aim of creating a new way to enjoy golf.

Author: Aoi Yonezawa

Photo: The farewell party held at the gallery plaza
Photo: The farewell party held at the gallery plaza