Choosing five finalists to get on to the 2018 Tata Communications F1® Innovation Prize finals was no easy task. However, out of the thousands of entries, five stood out amongst the rest, and it’s time to talk to the finalists. We spoke to James Gough from the UK about his entry and his love for F1®.
You can see James’ vision of an F1® future below. His idea includes a Smart Virtual Assistant (VSA) that can deliver personalized, contextual data to the fan with voice, text, and gesture command. Fans of all languages and levels of technical knowledge can gain insights from the data presented through a clean, well-designed user interface. The VSA would interact with existing smart assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, to provide multiple access points.
In order to step up to the challenge, participants need to truly have a passion for the sport, with some memories going back decades.
“I started out as a fan in 1998, when was 14,” explains James. “I remember watching Mika Hakkinen and being completely in awe of his skills, especially in 2000 at Spa with his infamous overtake on the great Michael Schumacher.”
James: “I’ve always wanted to be a part of the F1® circus, to feel a part of a team, and that’s what my entry is all about – giving the fans the experience of being on the inside of a sport they love. I hope it has an impact on how fans engage with Formula 1. I hope that fans will be given all the data they want when it suits them and can use it to not only see what’s happening but to understand why it happened. It should lead to more people getting involved in the sport professionally.”
Sometimes there are benefits to working as a team, but it’s not always necessary, particularly if you’ve had experience in this type of project before.
James: “I worked alone. I was a finalist two years ago and worked with an awesome team back then, but this year I fancied a crack at it myself! Although, my wife, Emma, did have her input and say on my ideas and I can’t thank her enough!”
The winner of the 2018 Tata Communications F1® Innovation Prize not only wins $50,000, their winning entry is also sent to the Formula 1® Media & Technology Centre for incubation and prototyping.
James: “It’s a massive opportunity. The money is obviously an incentive and would go a long way for myself and the people around me, but the prospect of being able to provide a solution in Formula 1 that improves the sport for the fans would be a very proud achievement.”
To stay up-to-date with all the latest entries of the 2018 Tata Communications F1® Innovation Prize, register here.