For many people, the biggest event they will ever organize is a wedding. Now, imagine hosting a celebration that will take place over the span of 17 days with a “guest list” of over a million people and the “wedding party” consisting of 10,500 participants.
That’s the colossal effort of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The city of Rio de Janeiro isn’t just building the 32 venues in four different areas, but is also facing more technology challenges than previous Olympic Games host cities.
Over the span of the 17-day event:
- approximately 15,000 email accounts will be created for the running of the Games for 140,000 workers and volunteers
- 16,000 mobile devices and 16,000 walkie-talkies will be provided
- and 15,000 landlines will be set up
That’s a lot of data streaming!
And this doesn’t include all the visitors who will be taking pics, tweeting, posting, calling, sharing videos, and using any of the numerous apps developed just for the Games.
Rising to the challenge, technology companies have come up with a wealth of innovations to bring the Games to life, no matter where you are.
The 2016 Olympic Games will be the first to use the cloud for essential operations. A volunteer portal and accreditation system will enable swifter management, for example.
Virtual reality (VR) will also be available in Rio 2016.
Viewers watching the broadcast can experience events live in VR, if they have a compatible headset. If not, they can catch it on demand a bit later.
Spectators watching in America will get a view that is unmatched in Olympics history.
4K Ultra HD technology displays 3840×2160 images—about four times as defined as current high def.
NBC’s broadcast of the opening ceremony will also utilize High Dynamic Range (HDR), which will give viewers a wider, more vibrant range of colors, and Dolby Atmos, for an immersive audio experience.
Robotics will also be a key player at the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Robotic POD System, developed by Mark Roberts Motion Control, will give photographers the advantage of using a transmitter to control remote cameras. They’ll control the shots, from zooming in to rotating the camera. They can even use the software’s presets to automatically capture actions like foul shots on a basketball court.
Social media will play a far bigger role in Rio 2016, and not just among spectators.
NBC chose Snapchat to be the first outlet to share its footage of the Games.
Technology isn’t just for the broadcasters and viewers though. Athletes will be sporting more wearable technology at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
- Marathoners will wear patches to monitor their electrolyte levels.
- To avoid scoring errors by the referees, the body and head protectors worn by taekwondo competitors will be fitted with a sensor. The athletes will wear magnetized socks that trigger the sensor to indicate a strike.
- Cyclists will wear smart glasses that give them real-time information on their ride. The display inside the goggles will show them their heart rate, speed, power, pace, cadence, wind speed, and duration, without taking their eyes off the road.
The Olympic Games always deliver a spectacle, whether you’re a sports fan or not. This year’s extravaganza in Rio will be the perfect marriage of technology and sports.