World-first audio technology enables unique blind and low vision live tennis experience.

Listen to Game with Action Audio Here

The Australian Open will become the first-ever major sporting competition to provide a unique experience for blind and low vision fans next week.

Created in partnership between Tennis Australia, Monash University and AKQA, Action Audio, an online audio stream, will be available across every match at the Rod Laver Arena via Australian Open live radio and through Google Assistant. 

Designed to make the game experience more accessible for the 285 million people globally living with blindness or low vision, Action Audio is an accessibility feature for the blind and low vision community. It uses real-time ball monitoring technology and spatial sound design to give audiences insight into what’s happening, when it’s happening, without the need for visual information. 

The world-first audio technology emphasises ball speed and trajectory, proximity to line and shot type (forehand or backhand), allowing low vision audiences to follow a game through sound like never before, helping to follow critical moments in real-time. The sound design is shaped by a number of principles, including the use of existing sound languages familiar to blind and low vision audiences. 

Initially trialled at the Australian Open 2021 tennis finals following a two-year process of co-design and prototyping with members of the blind and low vision community, including input from Blind Sports Victoria, a set of sound design principles using ball tracking data from the Australian Open’s digital point monitoring system.

The real innovation of Action Audio is that it requires very few new tools to implement. Our vision is that Action Audio will be rolled out to support many more sports codes and radio broadcasts around the world,” AKQA APAC Executive Innovation Director Tim Devine said. 

Much of the value that sports fans receive from watching sports is social, and blind fans are no different. Action Audio is designed for co-watching experiences by both low vision and sighted audiences.

“We’re incredibly proud to be strengthening our commitment to accessible experiences at the Australian Open with Action Audio, and this year the live audio experience will be available for all centre court games. When tuning into AO’s live digital radio, thousands of blind and low vision fans will be able to follow the on-court action in real time, enabled by this groundbreaking use of technology,” Tennis Australia head of innovation Machar Reid says.

“Action Audio is essentially a new language being created to transcend sport. It enables us to augment the live radio broadcast and changes the way blind and low vision sports fans can participate in live sports entertainment.”

The Australian Open runs from 17-30th January. Details of tennis matches available with Action Audio from the Rod Laver Arena are available via