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EVENT NOTICE: RePlay launched at Croke Park


EVENT NOTICE: RePlay launched at Croke Park

May 5 2016






Special Croke Park media event showcases the cutting edge of science and sport


Location: Dressing Room 1, Hogan Stand, Croke Park


Time: 2pm Tuesday, 10th May 2016


 On May 10th the Insight Centre for Data Analytics will showcase the results of three years of research aimed at capturing and storing Irish traditional sports techniques for present and future players. GAA stars will try out the new technology at a special media event at Croke Park next Tuesday.


The project, known as Replay, involves cutting edge sensor technology and data analytics combined to create, for the first time, a digitised ‘library of movement’ for use by athletes and coaches.


Three years ago researchers at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics set about capturing and preserving the techniques of our Irish traditional sports so that future generations will always have access to the moves unique to their games heritage. The project was funded by the EU, in recognition of its potential to protect sports heritage in all member states.


Scientific CoordinatorProfessor Noel O’Connor of the Insight Centre explained the motivation for this project.


“Twenty years ago the last remaining player of a traditional French variant of lawn tennis passed away. With him passed knowledge of how to play the game, which is now functionally extinct. All around the world traditional games are dependent on players to keep them alive, and unlike languages or artefacts, the key elements of these games have not, until now, been captured and stored for future generations.


“It’s hard to imagine that hurling or camogie will ever go extinct, but without the kind of investment that goes into homogenous international games like soccer, any traditional game could potentially die out.”


Insight’s researchers have gone on to create accessible technology that today’s players can use to improve their game. It also holds significant promise for affordable gaming development, physiotherapy and motion capture for other physical pursuits like dancing.


Up to now technology like this has only been available to big budget film producers and game developers.


Insight, Ireland’s national data science centre, is a world leader  in physical sensor technology. The Centre is developing increasingly sensitive systems to capture the tiniest movements and translate them into readable data for use by physiotherapists and other clinicians.


Combining this expertise with affordable off-the-shelf gaming hardware, Insight have a developed a 3D sensor system that can be easily reproduced in a local GAA club.


Their research has brought the cost of capturing an athlete’s 3D data from over €500,000 to around €1,000. Now clubs can bring this technology into the local hall and rainy day training can include gaming interfaces that give young players the chance to compare their techniques directly with the professionals.


In a world’s first, the project also arranged for highly accurate motion capture of traditional games  for future analysis and storage. Male and female athletes were flown to a specially constructed studio in Oxford, wore a ‘skin suit’ fitted with multiple sensors and performed under the watch of infrared cameras. Their movements were then translated into 3D avatars that will appear on screen. It’s the same technology used by FIFA to represent the moves of Lionel Messi on an Xbox, applied for the first time to GAA athletes.


Not alone will trainee players get to compare their hand pass to that of a GAA great, but thanks to Insight’s research, the skills of local heroes can also be captured and used for training.


At a local level, there’s no need for the skin suit: the movements can be captured and stored using Microsoft Kinect sensors and cheap PC.


Visiting media on the day will be able to see the technology in action featuring both top class athletes and young players. The event will take place in the warm up room under the Hogan Stand on May 10th at 2pm. Interested journalists can test their own skills against GAA stars.


For further information contact


Louise Holden/Grainne Faller


FH Media Consulting Ltd


087 2423985







The Insight Centre for Data Analytics is the largest in the SFI Research Centre programme with over 400 scientists working in data research.  The centre is one of the biggest in Europe and puts Ireland to the forefront of global data analytics research.

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, 4 May, 2016