Rio 2016 Olympics Set To Display Latest Tech


The 2016 Rio Olympics will receive its torch-lit nascence on August 5 and with it will be a showcase of the latest in event and sports technology for the benefit of both viewer and athlete.

The Olympics have long been a harbinger for technological innovation with such moments as the 1936 Berlin games broadcast live on television and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics broadcast in color long before such developments became mainstream. The Rio Olympics will be no exception.

The Olympics will allow millions of viewers to watch thousands of athletes from all different countries in more than 300 events in 42 different sports. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that many viewers use second screen devices to keep up with the games. This year, 85% of users plan to use such a second screen device.

Viewers Can Experience the Games in Virtual Reality

NBC, which is broadcasting the games, has stated that they will have available 100 hours of virtual reality. NBC is also giving steps for how to access the VR display via the Samsung Gear VR.

In the Olympic tradition, the use of VR is said to be experimental. All VR programming will be available on delay from August 6, the first day of competition, to August 22, the last day of the games.

Drone Cameras

Certain events benefit from aerial views which can be captured with drones. While Rio will use drones for events such as rowing, this will not be the first appearance of the drones as they were used in the London 2012 Olympics.

The BBC, another broadcaster of the Olympics will work with Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) in capturing aerial views as well as concerning itself with safety.

An alpine skier, Marcel Hirscher, was almost hit by a drone while skiing in competition in Italy.


Viewers will also be able to understand sports such as rowing and canoeing in more detail with GPS. While this technology is not completely novel for the Olympics, every vessel will have GPS attached.

Such developments will allow viewers to have a better sense of speed and direction.

Some Games Will Use The Latest In Instant Replay Tech

Not all of the innovative technology is for the benefit of the viewer. Some technology has now become integral to the games themselves. Instant replay has made great headway, for instance, in many American sports such as football, basketball, and most recently in baseball.

The 2016 Olympics will be the first where teams in volleyball may request video replays to challenge a referee’s call. A second referee will then review based on the challenge.

The video replay will be available for viewers in and outside of the stadium.

Live Streaming

Live streaming will also be available through some providers such as Microsoft Azure. This is set to be 4500 hours of live streaming.

This will allow viewers to view the Olympics on their smartphones, allowing for more flexibility in the viewers’ experiences.

With the ability for viewers to engage with the Olympics on so many devices outside of a television, time will only tell whether television will continue to be the primary mode of conception of the games. Undoubtedly though, each new Olympics will present new opportunities and new challenges for viewers, Olympic organizers, and even the athletes.

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