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2021-07-01

Microsoft Azure experts Compete366 help AWOL to launch Game-Changing Live Event Photography Service at AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds

LONDON, July 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At the recent AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds in June, AWOL Adventure launched its unique and pioneering space-powered live photography service, which undoubtedly has the potential to change the future of mass participation sports event photography.

Funded by the UK and European Space Agencies, the project commenced back in September 2020 to allow AWOL to address the challenge of getting photos uploaded and indexed quickly from remote events, using satellite communications to increase the upload speed of images. Compete366 was an integral partner who supported with the set-up of the Microsoft Azure infrastructure platform to support the whole system.

The new service from AWOL aims to address three key improvement areas for event photography: speed, quality, accuracy.

Speed of upload of photographs

It is essential to upload photos quickly from the event as participants want to be able to view photos straight after an event has finished. And at this exciting event, a world first was achieved, with live competitor photos uploaded and available to view within 8-15 seconds from being taken. With around 3000 competitors, around 100,000 photographs were uploaded over the 2-day event.

The key to achieving such amazing results was satellite communications. The events are often held where mobile signal cannot be guaranteed, or in busy public areas where networks are overwhelmed. To improve on the speed and accuracy of the photo uploads, AWOL Adventure selected to work with the Compete366 and use the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform.

All of the technology is based on the Microsoft ASP.net core – for the website and hosting on Azure Webapp service, with a SQL core. Once a photo is taken at an event, it is uploaded (using satellite communications) to the Azure SQL Database and is indexed (GPS, time, date location) using serverless functions. The system has been built to allow for more than one million photos per day to be uploaded simultaneously from multiple events.

Microsoft Azure has proved to be the ideal solution, as it allows for the infrastructure resource to be scaled up for events and then back down again when it is not needed. And working with Compete366 to provide optimisation services helped to ensure the correct infrastructure platform was built.

Accuracy – it is essential to be able to identify athletes in their photos, using either entrant number or facial recognition and the technology platform has been built specifically to do this.

Quality – as the speed of upload is so rapid, the quality of the photos can now be checked within seconds of upload – so that immediate feedback can be given to the photographers if there are any issues.

As Matt Brocklehurst, Technical Director explains, "We have truly raised the bar with the launch of this technology. AWOL has set a new standard for customer and spectator experience with a technology that can be used anywhere on the course, completely self-sufficiently".

In an exclusive interview with AWOL, two-time Olympic triathlon medallist Jonathan Brownlee said, “What AWOL are doing here will encourage and support people to be more active and get involved in sport, and in particular Triathlon; it's great to see a British company leading the way worldwide with such an exciting piece of technology.”

As Matt explains “As a key part of the overall project, we really value the expert advice and guidance that our Azure experts, Compete366 have delivered in ensuring we have a highly scalable infrastructure based on the trusted Microsoft Azure platform.

After this highly successful launch event, AWOL is now poised to support a full calendar of forthcoming events (https://awol.io) and due to the global reach of Microsoft Azure, is able to support events globally as each Azure geography contains one or more regions and meets specific data residency and compliance requirements. As Matt explains “The infrastructure that Compete366 helped us to build, coupled with local photographers allows us to offer a truly unique service across the world.”

Contact Details

Compete366 – contact Catherine Kennedy engage@compete366.com

For information or partnership opportunities, please contact Greg Goodall, Chief Commercial Officer, AWOL: greg@awoladventure.com / +44 (0)1772-305-892

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2391d982-66bd-4839-a9b4-2f26b4c03b93

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b80a8e42-c89b-45d9-b4a7-af6b18cbb6d9


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