AI Case Study

The Breeders' Cup enhances customer experience with an AI-powered horse detection feature and live VR broadcasting

The Breeders' Cup horse racing event is leveraging artificial intelligence to enhance the customer experience for its fans. The event will be broadcasted in live VR using three 360-degree cameras stationed around the track, that can analyse horse racing images and video. Using a machine learning powered horse detection feature the live streaming will include real time analytics of the race, individual horses and their performance and betting odds. The system is comprised of Google's Tensorflow; Keras, a system for quick scaffolding of neural networks; Yolo architecture for object detection algorithms; various custom apps for data labeling, processing and formatting.

Industry

Consumer Goods And Services

Entertainment And Sports

Project Overview

"The Breeders' Cup thoroughbred horse racing event, taking place this weekend at the famed Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, will broadcast two days of races in live VR using 360-degree cameras stationed around the track.

But rather than functioning as a straightforward VR live stream, an AI and machine learning cocktail on the backend of the broadcast will give viewers real-time information about the horses as they see them walk through the track paddock. Data such as race statistics, betting odds, jockey information and career highlights will pop up into the viewer's screen, while visuals like interviews, social media feeds and live odds display in the background.

The horse detection feature was developed by digital media firm Greenfish Labs for the Breeders' Cup organization. According to the companies, the feature is the first of its kind in the sport and has the potential to significantly impact horse race fandom.

The horse racing industry has had a slow progression into the digital age, but VR experiments like these are aiming to modernize the sport for younger, tech-savvy fans. Granted, it's hard to tell how large a fan base sits at the crosshairs of VR and horse racing, but as McDonald pointed out, viewers don't need a VR headset to see the 360-degree video. The feed will be available on BreedersCup.com as well as the Breeders' Cup Facebook page, YouTube channel and mobile app.

Reported Results

"Justin McDonald, VP of marketing and digital for Breeders' Cup said: "This gives those fans the ability to see how their horses behave in the paddock. We think this will be an attractive product in that aspect"."

Technology

"The underlying technology includes a mix of Google's Tensorflow; Keras, a system for quick scaffolding of neural networks; Yolo architecture for object detection algorithms; various custom apps for data labeling, processing and formatting; and hundreds of gigabytes of horse racing images and video."

Function

R And D

Product Development

Background

"Advancements in object recognition technology have led to a new virtual reality viewing experience that could shakeup the dynamics of horse wagering."

Benefits

Data

"The Breeders' Cup VR broadcast will utilize footage from three cameras installed at Churchill Downs in the backstretch, paddock and Winner's Circle."