Thursday 18th April 2019


Rio 2016: Four Years Of Sports Tech Advancements Since London Olympics

Rio 2016: Four Years Of Sports Tech Advancements Since London Olympics

Rio 2016: Four Years Of Sports Tech Advancements Since London Olympics
A shot of Vanuatu volleyball players Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu from a virtual reality film (Image via Rio2016.com)

With seemingly daily technology advents in sports, it can be hard to keep up with all of the changes in the realm of sports. But the Olympics are a good benchmark for the numerous innovations happening every four years. As the London 2012 Olympics saw a number of technological changes, Rio 2016 will have even more.

Rio2016.com identified all of these differences, which will change how the Olympics are run in regards to fan engagement, athlete performance and officiating.

The U.S. Olympic swim trials are kicking off in Omaha this week, so it seems wise to start with swimming. If big names like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin manage to qualify for Rio, they will be greeted by digital lap counters from Omega, which they did not have in London. These sit at the bottom of each lane and allow for swimmers to see what lap they are on, as even the best can fall prey to miscounting.

Underwater lap counters were first introduced at the world championships in 2015 (Photo: Rio 2016)
Underwater lap counters were first introduced at the world championships in 2015 (Photo: Rio 2016)

For those competing above water, in the canoe sprint and rowing, the one major change they will experience will not be geared towards helping them focus more on their craft, but it will be about making fans quite a bit more entertained. Every vessel will have a GPS device attached to it, also created by Omega, that will track the rowers’ speed and direction. This will give fans a never before seen look into some of the basic metrics of Olympic canoeing and rowing.

Another location based improvement—radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags will be placed on every gun competing in a shooting event in Rio. This will allow organizers to keep the Olympics as safe as possible, by maintaining a handle on the locations of every gun. Perhaps the most famous example of RFID in recent history has been the NFL, who used the system to gather quite a bit of data on player movement. They recorded everything from acceleration to the exact placement of every player at all moments in a game.

Back to the Olympics—two events are getting a different take, as a result of some improved camera work. Volleyball and beach volleyball are permitting teams to use video replays so that they can challenge a referee’s call. A second referee will use television footage to check the challenged ruling, and the same video will be displayed on the arena’s big screen.

Weightlifting, on the other hand, will be seeing camera changes solely in the way the event is covered. Broadcasters will approach the sport from all angles at Rio, rather than just from the side or front.

Straying away from the sports themselves, it is no secret that the future of broadcasting lies in virtual reality. For the first time ever, the opening and closing ceremonies can be seen in virtual reality, thanks to Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS). The OBS is looking to provide a supplement of one event every day to their virtual reality plan.

Finally, we covered Visa’s new payment rings that they are giving to 45 Olympic hopefuls, when they came out earlier this month. These rings hold all credit card information, and will allow each athlete to make a purchase with just the wave of a finger. Olympic visitors will be able to use a bracelet that works to a similar effect.

 

 

 

 

 

Related

  • USA Bobsled and Skeleton Uses iPads To Optimize Runs In PyeongChang

  • USA Luge Team 3D Printed Its Way To The PyeongChang Olympics  

  • Monitor Golf Pace-Of-Play Using On-Pin’s Verifeye RFID Chips

  • SportsEngine, USOC Team Up To Help Future Winter Olympians Pursue Their Passion

  • Professional Squash Debuts Real-Time Biometric Data, Stats Tracking

Must read×