5G, Edge Drive Virtual Taekwondo

Image credit: iStockphoto/kzenon

The World Taekwondo organization is using 5G connectivity, AI, and edge computing to create a virtual version of the sport.

Coinciding with Olympic Day in June, World Taekwondo in Seoul previewed the future with Virtual Taekwondo. This immersive, non-contact virtual sport uses highly accurate, real-time motion tracking of a player’s full-body movements to turn taekwondo skills into a virtual competition.

Players’ bodies are transformed into gaming controllers as they can kick and punch to beat the avatar of their real-life opponent in a one-on-one format.

The virtual sport removes physical barriers and levels the playing field, creating new opportunities for players to compete across genders, weight classes, abilities, and geographies. World Taekwondo is planning for virtual Taekwondo competitions as early as 2022.

World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue noted that the sport aimed to be at the “forefront of innovative technology adoption.”

“We have long been committed to aligning with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 and now 2020+5 vision in growing digital engagement,” said Choue. “We partnered with Refract Technologies in 2018 to develop a virtual sport which allows players to use their bodies as a game controller in one on one non-contact sparring.”

In 2018, World Taekwondo entered into an agreement with Refract Technologies to develop its virtual sports programs and enable the federation to promote physical activity through technological innovation.

One of the key projects was Virtual Taekwondo, which utilizes AXIS, a full-body motion tracking system that allows players maximum freedom of movement to use their bodies as game controllers.

Michael Chng, the chief executive of Refract Technologies, said he was excited to have professional athletes test the system the company had created.

“With advances in 5G, artificial intelligence, and edge cloud processing, usage of extended reality devices will become a way of life in the near future,” Chng said.

Image credit: iStockphoto/kzenon