More tennis in Second Life – Australian Open

If you’ve been reading eightbar for a while, you may know that last year, some of the group put together a nice demo for Wimbledon (video available). The build was a proof-of-concept for taking a live feed of the balls from the Hawkeye system, and replaying the action in-world.

Well, the news is out on the Sydney Morning Herald site today, and Chris Yeoh mentions it too… a group from IBM has put together a really stunning build for the Australian Open. From the SMH article:

Over the duration of the two week tournament, data will be fed from games in the real Rod Laver Arena into the unreal one, nano seconds after happens.

The feed will come from game-tracking technologies such as the line-calling system HawkEye, PointTracker which plots shots and ball trajectories and Speed Serve which clocks the players’ serves.

I took a sneaky early tour of the site. There are some fantastic touches – for example, you can see rallies played out on the court, there are plenty of shops, open areas to chat, and video screens. Well done to the team involved (Pipe Hesse, Gizzy Electricteeth, and all the others) – this is really one of the best builds I’ve seen.

Click through for slightly larger screenshots, and be sure to visit once the site is open to all 🙂

20 thoughts on “More tennis in Second Life – Australian Open

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  2. A great venue for sure. And what’s best about it is the cross-over interaction between the real event and the SL event. Also, it’s sure to encourage longer stays than at a normal building/venue/event due to its nature.
    Bravo, and certainly the signs of things to come in SL.

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  4. The aus open tennis sim is called Slam1 on the main map.
    The team are using it currently as an invitation event, much like the real thing and as a deeper proof of concept than the original Wimbledon build.
    We wanted to show people the pictures and the work but given the limit on the number of AV’s on a sim we did not want cause people problems by not being able to TP in and see it because it is full.
    IBM sponsored tennis events, the grand slams are some of the most heavily used sites as I know from my years of Wimbleodn experience.
    As this is stage 2 of a much bigger experiment the team are looking at ways to scale it, the best way to run an event such as this and just how big it may have to be.

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  7. It will be interesting to see what is in store at the 2008 Australian Open. One year is a long time in terms of technology improvements. I enjoyed the 2007 version with the added dimension of the hawkeye system.

    I wonder if players will better manage the challenge system. Some players seemed to have a knack of knowing when to challenge while others seemed to not have a clue.

  8. Anyway we welcome your comments on it, as we try and bring the experience of the tennis event to the metaverse. The main website extends the experience with news and photos aswell as scores. In Second Life we can obvioulsy extend that experience to one that can be shared.

  9. I honestly hope IBM doesn’t continue to blow their customers money on this. They should focus their energy on the next concept that is better than Second Life. Is their any Third Life concepts out there yet?


  10. David – we actually picked up on your comment on episode 83 of Dogear Nation ( It’s hard for me to see how pushing the boundaries and innovating is wasteful… we’re learning how to engage in these new spaces. Bear in mind that this isn’t all about Second Life, it is about the 3D Internet and virtual worlds in general. As for a so-called “Third Life” concept – what would you suggest? and why go further immediately when there’s more to do in this existing space?

  11. God people, just go out and play some real tennis already. Innovative? I guess, but a waste of time? In my opinion yeah.

  12. I keep listening to the news speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one.

  13. I tend to agree with Lasik’s comments above…if you can, go outside…Of course, if you live where it is freezing cold, virtual tennis is not a bad idea.

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