Wimbledon, Vodafone Test 5G Headsets for Accessible Viewing

Using the headsets, visually impaired fans can watch matches and adapt footage to meet individual vision requirements

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

July 10, 2023

2 Min Read

Vodafone is testing its 5G-powered GiveVision headsets at this year’s Wimbledon, bringing the tennis to visually impaired fans.

Live footage is streamed from televisions’s on the courts to the headsets using 5G. Users can adjust the settings on their headsets to adapt the footage, altering features such as contrast, brightness or focus. Users can also bring the image closer to their eye to stimulate their retina’s photoreceptor cells.

A camera phone is also connected to the headset which can be adjusted to focus on specific parts of the game.

While similar headsets were available in previous years, these were limited by their necessary proximity to the transmitter box, with limited seats available in this area. 

Vodafone said its GiveVision headsets counteract this problem, with its 5G network covering the entire stadium and allowing anyone to connect.

“Providing opportunities like this really helps to open tennis up and make the whole experience more inclusive,” said Rosie Pybus, a volunteer for the trial. “The technology is brilliant – the clarity, the option to change modes, the ability to see whatever I want – it gives me such a sense of freedom.”

“These 5G headsets are amazing and will be life-changing for so many people,” said volunteer Sinead Grealy. “It’s incredible that I’ll be able to enjoy live sporting experiences like this in the future and I’m beyond overwhelmed at the moment.”

“As a visually impaired tennis player and a huge tennis fan, I can’t put into words how I feel at the moment,” said volunteer Ivan Rodriguez. “Being able to track the ball, see the spin and focus on all the finer details is a real game-changer – it’s amazing.”

Vodafone has said that depending on the success of the Wimbledon trial, it may roll out its 5G headsets to more live sporting events. 

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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