2018 PyeongChang Olympics Has 5G-Enabled VR, Live Holograms, Self-Driving Buses, Drones

Canada’s Perianne Jones warms up prior to the Ladies’ 4x5km Relay at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyna, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (COC Photo by Jason Ransom)

KT Corporation plans to have a pilot of its 5G services ready in time for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang. The South Korean telecommunications company also has a grand vision of a tech-filled Olympics that will be enabled by the connectivity.

Glimpses of fans wearing a virtual reality headset to watch live speed skating and crowds reacting to 3D holograms of winter athletes in KT commercials are just the tip of the iceberg.

VR will be very much a part of the Olympics experience in PyeongChang, and KT recently showcased how it is looking to have 5G allow for 360-degree live VR of events like bobsled and a VR experience for the Olympic torch relay.

A mixed reality experience with a torchbearer in a VR headset doing a virtual ski jump was demonstrated earlier this month.

KT’s Sync View offers unique live streaming capabilities with 5G. Using cameras on a bobsledder’s helmet and bobsled along with a device on the wrist, television and mobile viewers can have footage from a first-person point of view to go along with heart rate information and location tracking.

KT’s Time Slice was showcased at Mobile World Congress, enabling figure skating fans to see the detailed movements of reigning Olympic silver medalist Yuna Kim from multiple angles as she does a jump. Numerous cameras installed in an ice skating venue would allow for such multi-angled footage to be made available to broadcasters and viewers.

KT’s 5G is also expected to enable the company to unveil self-driving shuttle buses and drone deliveries in PyeongChang. Inside the buses, passengers can look on panels to see what’s going on outside or activate an interactive system that displays Olympics action — with 360-degree capabilities, of course. That’s if they aren’t distracted by the driver receiving a drone delivery.