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Check Out the Australian Open Via A 3-D Audio Experience

There’s still time for tennis enthusiasts who are blind or have low vision to tune into enhanced audio-described live coverage of the Australian Open, which runs until January 30, 2022, through “a 3D spatial audio experience” provided through Action Audio by AKQA. This innovation uses “real-time ball monitoring technology and spatial design” to give its audiences increased awareness of what is occurring on the court. It offers spectators more information than they generally get, using data inputs including the speed and trajectory of the ball, how close it is to the line, and the type of tennis stroke (forehand or backhand). The Australian Open is the first major sporting event to introduce this technology to enrich the broadcast experience for fans who are visually impaired. Digital design studio AKQA has partnered with Tennis Australia and Monash University in creating this audio experience for live sports. Action Audio was created over a two-year period of “designing and prototyping” with volunteers who are blind or have low vision. Its development also included input from Blind Sports Victoria, an organization offering sports and recreation activities to people who are blind or visually impaired. Read more about this innovation and how it works in the Design Week article: Australian Open debuts Action Audio.