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Olympics: Holograms may help more fans catch the action at Tokyo Games

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese telecommunications company NTT is hoping to bring an added dimension to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by projecting live sporting events with its 3D hologram technology.

NTT has been working on a new system it calls "Kirari! For Arena", which, unlike its current technology, does not require sensors to be attached to an athlete's body.

The company is aiming to have the system ready by the time Tokyo hosts the next Summer Games.

"From all four directions, you can see players projected in the field moving in 3D," Kota Hidaka, senior research engineer at NTT Service Evolution Laboratories, said at a demonstration on Thursday.

"Kirari! For Arena" uses multiple cameras to track the movements of the player. Images are then transported to devices which show 3D hologram figures real-time in a different location.

So, for example, fans unable to watch a karate match in an arena could watch 3D holograms of the fighters battling it out live.

"We are hoping to establish the system and deliver the service in which people can enjoy watching games by gathering around the 3D hologram," Hidaka said.

NTT is an official sponsor of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

(Reporting by Hideki Kato; Writing by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Robert Birsel)