How Technology Will Transform The Olympics At PyeongChang

(Photograph by Quinn Rooney/Getty Pictures)

If the Tremendous Bowl is likely one of the largest showcases of innovation within the U.S., the Olympic Video games have grow to be a platform for which corporations can show their newest applied sciences in connectivity and digital media on a worldwide stage.

A variety of “firsts” are anticipated to happen on the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Video games, which kicked off this week, together with a large-scale digital actuality broadcast from Intel, excessive-tech uniforms and enhanced security measures from a military of drones and X-ray automobiles.

SportTechie rounded up the highest applied sciences underpinning the Video games heading into the sixteen-day occasion:

Digital Actuality

In what would be the largest-scale digital actuality occasion up to now and the primary stay digital actuality broadcast of the Olympic Winter Video games, Intel will rotate roughly two dozen one hundred eighty-diploma cameras that it inbuilt-home throughout 18 reside occasions over the 2-and-a-half week occasion. It’ll shoot 30 occasions in complete — one other 12 with 360-diploma cameras — to create a mixture of VR stay streams and video-on-demand content material.

Streaming & Broadcast

NBC will present 4K excessive-dynamic-vary (4K HDR) protection to distribution companions corresponding to Comcast, DISH and DirecTV. The know-how, which shows photographs at over eight million pixels, will “considerably increase” the vary of colour and contract delivered to viewers. The opening ceremony, determine skating, hockey, brief monitor velocity skating, ski leaping and snowboarding massive air competitions might be among the many featured occasions in 4K HDR.  

“The Olympics has all the time been a platform for the introduction of latest broadcast know-how,” NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel stated in a press release, including that it is going to be a “nice showcase for this rising development within the high quality of televised sports protection within the U.S.”

NBC, which is the official broadcast companion for the 2018 Winter Olympics within the U.S., is predicted to supply 176 hours of complete protection. Together with its different channels, comparable to NBCSN, CNBC and USA, and its in depth on-line choices, the printed firm will air greater than 2,four hundred hours of Olympic protection.

Along with broadcast, viewers can watch the Olympics on the NBC Sports activities app, in addition to on streaming providers that embrace NBC of their subscriptions, corresponding to Hulu, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV.


Intel has partnered with KT Company, a South  Korean communications service supplier, to develop the world’s largest 5G showcase on the 2018 Olympics Winter Video games. Through the two-week occasion, KT will ship the primary broad-scale 5G community paired with Intel 5G applied sciences. Intel says it plans to make use of the elevated computing energy the ship “a collection of immersive on-website 5G-powered experiences.”

“The upcoming Olympic Winter Video games will supply a preview of our 5G future,” an Intel spokesperson stated.

Individually, Alibaba introduced that it has turn out to be the official cloud providers and e-commerce platform providers supplier for The Worldwide Olympic Committee, providing digital capabilities in a partnership via 2028. Alibaba, which has introduced that it’s a founding associate of the Olympic Channel, stated its cloud infrastructure will assist Olympics administration function extra effectively and securely. Alibaba may even present providers to help the Olympic Committee’s massive knowledge analytics necessities.

With Alibaba, the IOC hopes to raised entry an estimated seven hundred million on-line viewers in China.


The Pyeongchang Olympics anti-Terrorism and Security Headquarters will leverage quite a lot of excessive-tech options to maintain a decent lid on safety in and across the Olympic venues, that are situated simply 50 miles north of a demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.

Drones might be used to examine exercise on the bottom with HD and thermal imaging cameras. In areas deemed the probably to be focused, drones with radar networks will watch the skies for unidentified unmanned aerial automobiles, then alert safety forces who will then transfer in to counter a possible assault.

All the areas close to the Olympic venues have been deemed as no-fly zones. If unauthorized drones enter the airspace, interceptor drones might be deployed to seize rogue drones with nets.

One other plane, a tactical airplane that’s set to make its worldwide debut on the Olympics, will monitor actions on the bottom from an elevation of roughly 500 to 650 ft. The aircraft is provided with excessive-decision clever CCTV capabilities, which can complement the roughly 900 CCTV cameras with monitoring capabilities on the bottom. Collectively, they’ll present safety workplaces an all-encompassing perspective of customer actions in and across the venues and detect for suspicious actions.

On the bottom, the workforce will use a car able to detecting and figuring out four hundred totally different hazardous substances to watch chemical warfare brokers inside a 5 kilometer radius of the venues. Three X-ray search automobiles shall be used to look incoming automobiles for stowaways, weapons and different harmful objects, whereas satellite tv for pc and different aerial photographs will detect potential hiding sports of snipers.

Social Media

Snapchat will host a variety of unique content material surrounding the video games, because it introduces the streaming of stay Olympics protection from NBC to customers within the U.S.

Following a profitable run between NBC and Snapchat through the Rio Olympics, which noticed greater than 35 million individuals within the U.S. tune into NBC’s Olympics protection on Snapchat, the 2 will associate once more for Pyeongchang.  NBC, which owns the rights to broadcast the Olympics till at the very least 2032, will function content material produced by Buzzfeed that may leverage the businesses’ intimate entry to the Video games.

The Olympic Channel introduced a multi-yr settlement with Snap in an try to offer Snapchat customers with unique content material and artistic instruments, similar to themed filters and stickers, that interact youthful demographics with the Olympics all yr spherical. As a part of that, Snapchat will produce an Our Tales channel that includes archival footage offered by the Olympic Channel workforce.

Eurosport and Snap have additionally partnered to deliver Olympic content material, together with behind-the-scenes protection and insights from Olympians and different influencers, to customers in Europe.

Heated Uniforms

Ralph Lauren and america Olympic Committee will debut new uniforms for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic groups in the course of the opening ceremonies that may function a wearable heating element that’s designed to maintain athletes heat in PyeongChang’s chilly temperatures.  

The heating system is produced from versatile and stretchable conductive inks, printed within the form of an American flag in carbon and silver ink that’s bonded to the inside of the jackets. The water-repellent inks hook up with a battery pack with three settings that provide as much as eleven hours of heating.

Smarter Uniforms

Two Dutch brief monitor speedskaters might be sporting the Samsung SmartSuit throughout their competitors. The go well with is embedded with 5 sensors that may measure physique posture and calculate how far a skater’s hips are from the ice, knowledge that when analyzed may give athletes a way of how they will improve their speeds, even by only a fraction of a second.

(Photograph by Stacy Revere/Getty Pictures)

The knowledge is shipped to an app in actual time to be analyzed by a coach, who can then ship suggestions to the athlete in the course of the race within the type of vibrations. For instance, a vibration on their wrist may advise them to right their posture.

Beneath Armour has unveiled an up to date uniform for the U.S. Speedskating group after the workforce did not medal within the 2014 Winter Olympics and at the least one athlete blamed the poor efficiency on the fits, which she known as “faulty.”

UA’s new fits function a brand new aerodynamic material and asymmetrical seam that reduces bunching. The firm eliminated a again vent that some athletes believed contributed to tug and added a dimpled texture to sure parts of the go well with that it says may also alleviate drag.

Cost Wearables

Visa is introducing cost-related winter gloves and two different wearables that may allow cashless funds on the Video games.

Visa will promote winter gloves at PyeongChang that permits cashless funds.

The firm will supply Olympics attendees sensible gloves that include a twin interface chip with an antenna that may allow contactless funds all through the venue, the place Visa has put in greater than 1,000 NFC-enabled level-of-sale terminals. It can additionally supply 4 totally different commemorative Olympic lapel pins that allow funds and an array of skinny, versatile adhesive micro tags which are embedded with NFC chips and antennas and could be hooked up to quite a lot of gadgets.


Robots will play an element on the video games, offering a variety of providers, reminiscent of customer support and housekeeping. Whereas one robotic has already been detected vacuuming the press middle (consider a glorified Rumba), the opposite fashions will present providers comparable to providing Video games info and translation, or serving drinks, in line with Canada’s International Information.